Bag Bill needs our Testimony

Monday, June 17, 2013 - 3:24pm
Vote NO on Bill 10-13. 
Sign up to testify against Bill 10-13 on June 18 by calling 240-777-7803.  If you can't make it June 18, call or write your Councilmember today.  Click HERE for contact information.
 
Protect Montgomery’s Bag Law!
In 2012, all Montgomery County stores began charging a nickel for disposable plastic and paper bags distributed at checkout, in order to reduce litter by encouraging shoppers to use reusable bags.
 
Is it working? Yes!  It's good for businesses and good for the environment!
- Fewer plastic bags are being found in County streams during cleanups and in regular monitoring.
- Grocery stores report customers are using 70% fewer disposable bags since the fee took effect.
 
The County Council is considering weakening the law. Why?
Some Councilmembers have expressed concern that shoppers don’t take reusable bags to the mall, and that paying for a bag in those stores is burdensome.  We say - a nickel for the environment is not too much to pay for a cleaner watershed.  What is burdensome is having to pick these bags out of the creek!
 
What would the amendment (Bill 10-13) do?
- Plastic and paper bags from carry-outs would be exempt from the fee.  These are the bags we find in our creek!
- Department stores and other non-food stores would also be exempt.
 
How can I oppose this amendment?
Councilmembers are only hearing from a few unhappy residents, and not many supportive residents. (It’s human nature to speak up when you don’t like something!) The best thing you can do now is call or email your Councilmembers (contact info is HERE.).
 
Use the following talking points in your message:
 
  1. Thank you for passing the bag fee legislation, ensuring that Montgomery County continues to lead the way for environmental change.
  2. The bag fee has been very helpful in reminding me to bring reusable bags to all the stores that I shop in, including department stores (hardware store, boutiques, etc).
  3. Even when I forget my bag and I choose to buy one, I don’t mind because I know that the money will go to support environmental projects.
  4. Many of the department stores I shop in even sell reusable bags, showing that they support their customers changing their behavior and using less disposable bags.
  5. I’m also thrilled to see my friends and neighbors refusing the unnecessary disposable bags at the store. (This is a great place to share personal anecdotes from your shopping experiences)
  6. And the intent of the legislation, to reduce litter, has been successful. We are seeing less plastic bags in our communities and waterways.

Please also join us for the public hearing on Tuesday, June 18, at 7:30 pm.
Sign up to testify by calling 240-777-7803.
 
Thank you to Trash Free Maryland Alliance for these excellent talking points.   For more information, please visit www.TrashFreeMaryland.org.
 
With everyone's help, Montgomery County can continue to uphold its national reputation of strong environmental leadership!   Let's flex our political muscle!  Environmentalists vote too.