A recently filed amendment by Councilmember Deb Jung to CB64-2019 would take the legislation for the Howard County plastic bag fee/tax from a punitive tax on shoppers to a full out ban on plastic bags at checkout in July of 2021.
Amendment 3 to CB64-2019: (This Amendment bans disposable plastic bags beginning July 1, 2021.) is a step in the right direction for Howard County and could be legislation that other jurisdictions could follow to reduce the use of single use plastics in this state.
I have been a BIG advocate against the legislation that places a punitive fee on shoppers that accept plastic bags at checkout from stores (while doing nothing to stop stores from giving out plastic bags like candy to shoppers at checkout). I have data and my own opinion on my side. This amendment tells me that at least one elected official can see that this fee does not accomplish the goal of removing plastic bags from our jurisdiction…and we will soon see (December 2nd) who else cares more about the environment over collecting money from our residents.
The goal of this legislation should be making significant reductions in the use of single use plastics…and our County Executive has stated “Making Howard County the most environmentally friendly jurisdiction in the state and region is a goal of my administration…”…and this amendment would be a big step in that direction.
My hope is that many support this amendment to CB64-2019. I will be watching closely which council members vote yes and vote no on this amendment. A no vote (to me) means that the goal of this legislation is about money into the county budget and not REALLY about protecting the environment.
Stay tuned folks…the recently filed amendments to this legislation are significant and will be either a really good thing or a really bad thing for Howard County in the future.
I am recommending that all readers that agree with what I have stated above write to the County Council and let them know you support amendment 3 to this legislation…that is our best chance of getting this amendment passed:
I will be very interested to see if the various local special interest groups like Less Plastics Please and the Howard County Sierra Club also support this amendment or if they stay on the path for money for the county and for businesses providing plastic bags at checkout. I will be watching.