The new year will ring in a new shopping bag fee.
On Jan. 1, 2024, many county retailers, including grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and many other businesses, will stop providing single-use, carryout plastic bags at check-out registers.
Additionally, retailers will be required to charge at least a 10-cent fee for each paper bag and reusable bags sold to consumers, as part of the Prince George’s County Better Bag Bill, which County Executive Angela Alsobrooks signed into law on July 14, 2023. The bag fee will remain with the business, rather than going to the county as it would if it were a tax, according to a fiscal policy note on the bill.
“The ban has been created to help protect local waterways and marine life, reduce plastic pollution and litter, and promote reusable bags,” a county press release said.
According to the press release, the ban doesn’t apply to the packaging of bulk items, such as produce, nuts and grains, and small hardware, nor to bags for bakery goods, fish, meat, flowers or dry cleaning.
The 10-cent fee does not apply to paper bags for take-out food, including food purchased at a drive-through, nor to bags used for prescription medication. For a complete list of exemptions, visit mypgc.us/bagitright.
The press release noted that the county will provide a limited amount of free reusable bags and will announce distribution dates and locations once plans are finalized.
The Hyattsville City Council considered a similar bag bill proposal last December, which the county bill renders unnecessary.