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Exemptions from the City's Ordinance No. 2008 include bags that:
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To encourage the use of reusable bags or no bags. Following the single-use plastic bag ban in the City of Laurel, the share of grocery shoppers using paper bags rose from less than 1% to 68%, while the share using reusable bags rose from 5% to only 14%, and no bag from 7% to 14%. By requiring retailers to charge at least 10 cents for alternate bags (paper or reusable), we can help reduce the waste and litter caused by single bags.
January 1, 2024
Single-use plastic bags make up a portion of local litter as many bags end up in our trees, streets, parks, and waterways, blocking storm drains and polluting our environment. Unfortunately, according to the EPA, only about 3% of single-use plastic bags are recycled nationwide. Further, single-use plastic bags are not accepted in the City’s recycling program due to Prince George’s County restrictions from their Single-Stream Recycling Program and Materials Recycling Facility which receives all the City’s recyclable materials.
The charge for paper bags reduces the demand for them and is an incentive for patrons to bring their own reusable bags. The manufacture of paper bags has serious upstream environmental impacts, and they are far more expensive than single-use plastic bags. Providing them free of charge at checkout in such large numbers may increase retailer overhead, which may result in higher prices.
No. The City doesn't collect any fees from this Ordinance.
This new Ordinance encourages shoppers and patrons to use reusable bags for their groceries and other purchases. As part of the Ordinance, alternate bags like paper bags or reusable bags can be provided, but retailers must charge a minimum of $.10 per bag and retain the entirety of the fee to cover costs. Restaurant carry-out bags are included in the Ordinance. There are exemptions to this law, like bulk food, meat, ice, or produce packaging. For a full list of exemptions, please see the next FAQ.
Yes. Ordinance No. 2008 will restrict the use of non-reusable plastic bags given or received at the point of purchase by City retailers and restaurants effective January 1, 2024.
Following the rollout, enforcement will be complaint-driven, through online reporting or a hot line, and enforced by the City’s Department of Fire Marshal and Permit Services. Community members can report non-compliance via the City’s reporting system available at MyLaurel MD app.
A bag with stitched handles that is specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuse and is made of:
Contact our Environmental Programs Manager, Michele Blair at the Green Living email link here.