Montgomery County Wants Nickel Fee On Single-Use Bags
Posted by Ted Duboise
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA
Montgomery County Judicial Center. Credit: Wikipedian 1234. Creative Commons License
With the support of the Environmental Community and the County Council, County Executive Ike Leggett announced Monday, March 7th, a proposal to place a nickel charge on all single-use bags provided by retailers. The legislation would go into effect on January 1, 2012.
All retailers would be required to charge the five-cents fee for either plastic or paper bags. The merchant would be allowed to keep a penny of the tax and remit the other four cents to the county through the tax system. The County’s Department of Finance would be responsible to oversee the collection and reporting of the tax.
The money collected would be deposited into the county’s Water Quality Protection Fund (WQPF) which uses the money for litter clean-up, watershed restoration, and stormwater management.
Regional Approach To Litter Control
Montgomery County is located just north of and adjoining Washington, DC. It is part of the Washington Metropolitan Area.(1) Washington, DC implemented a nickel charge for single-use bags on January 1, 2010. The fee has been very effective in reducing litter along the Anacostia River.
Most of Montgomery County’s local streams flow into the Anacostia River or the Potomac River. The County is part of the “Trash Free Potomac Watershed Treaty”, the same as Washington, DC. Therefore, by imposing the nickel fee on single-use bags, Montgomery County will join Washington, DC in making a regional approach to litter control.
Bring Your Reusable Bag
Speaking at a news conference in Rockville, Leggett stated, “I am proud to say that many consumers in Montgomery County are already bringing their own bags when they shop or are just refusing bags. We want to encourage even more residents to get on the bandwagon and take a very simple step that can help improve local water quality and protect our precious waterways. This is one very tangible way that people can say, ‘Look, I’m doing my part.’”
“In fact, we would consider declining revenues from this legislation a win, because it means fewer bags in circulation and less government dollars spent on clean-up”, Leggett explained.
To learn more, visit, Trash Free Potomac River Initiative at the County’s Department of Environmental Protection website.
Source: (1) Wikipedia