BALTIMORE — Lawmakers are considering banning plastic bags in Baltimore and on Tuesday, the Baltimore City Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the proposed comprehensive bag ban legislation.
It would ban the distribution of all plastic bags in stores at checkout and impose a 5 cent fee for paper and other compostable bags. The committee heard reports and public testimony, including a testament from the National Aquarium on the bill.
"Roughly 8 million metric tons of plastic ends up in the ocean each year," said Jennifer Driban, Senior VP or External Affairs at the National Aquarium. "Animals including fish, birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles become entangled by debris or istake debris for a natural food source and ingest it sometimes leading to death."
Driban said that by eliminating standard plastic grocery bags, Baltimore will reduce the number of bags littering neighborhoods and local waterways.
Advocates hope the bill will get more people to bring their own bags to the grocery store.
Low income families would be exempt from the extra bag charge.
The council passed a similar band 5 years ago, but was vetoed by then-mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed it.