BALTIMORE — Baltimore already led the way in Maryland with a citywide styrofoam ban that was then implemented statewide during the 2019 General Assembly session, and a Baltimore City Councilman is trying to be on the vanguard of environmental legislation again.
On June 17, District 4 Councilman Bill Henry plans to introduce a bill to reduce, or potentially eliminate, the usage of plastic bags in the city. Called the “Plastic Bag Reduction Bill,’ the bill would ban the distribution of all plastic bags at the point of sale. Instead, a “checkout bag surcharge,” would be included at the time of purchase for all paper, compostable, or other bags given out at the point of sale, or during pick up or during delivery, or picking up carryout purchases. The bill would also repeal the plastic bag reduction program, a current initiative where businesses with food licenses voluntarily registering and maintaining records of bag usage.
Henry will announce the bill’s introduction outside of City Council Chambers at 4 p.m. on June 17. He will be joined by Council President Brandon Scott, as well as representatives from Bmore Beyond Plastic, Trash Free Maryland, the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative, Clean Water Action, Blue Water Baltimore, United Workers, Food & Water Watch Baltimore, and the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability.
Henry recently announced he would not be seeking to maintain his city council seat in the upcoming election, instead challenging incumbent Joan M. Pratt in the race for Baltimore City Comptroller.