Join MOM’s in supporting the Maryland Plastic and Packaging Reduction Act HB 209/SB 313.
Every year, our oceans take in an estimated 5 million to 13 million tons of plastic from land-based sources. On our present course, there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the oceans by 2050.
Worldwide, shoppers use an estimated 1 trillion plastic shopping bags each year! These bags are among the top five plastic products collected in beach cleanups in the U.S. At major grocery chains in Maryland that provide carryout bags, ~80% of shoppers use single-use bags, nearly all of them plastic. These bags have about a 15-minute “working life,” but last for centuries or more.
Why Support This Bill?
- An average American uses 10 plastic bags per week or 520 per year; requiring the same petroleum that it takes to drive 60 miles.
- Seven states and nearly 500 localities in the U.S. have enacted bag laws.
- Montgomery County’s 5-cent fee on carryout bags has cut the percentage of shoppers using single-use plastic bags by more than half, with nearly 60% of shoppers opting for reusable bags or no bag at all.
- In San Jose, CA, a ban on thin plastic bags and a 10-cent fee on paper bags increased shoppers’ reliance on reusable bags from 3% to 46%, and the no-bag share from 13% to 43%.
- Littered plastic bags end up in waterways and the oceans, where they degrade into small pieces.
- Whether intact or as microplastic particles, plastic shopping bags are ingested by marine life, injuring and killing fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. Onland, plastic bag litter is a lethal threat to livestock and wildlife.
- The potential health effects on humans of plastic particles, their additives, and the toxins they absorb from the environment are of great concern.
States and Cities with Bans
- California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont—have banned single-use plastic bags.
- Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Montgomery County, Md., Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Maine, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore City (new to the list and taking place later this year/early next!)