Plastic bag ban now in effect
A long anticipated ban on the use of plastic single-use bags at point of sale went into effect in Takoma Park on December 1. The City Council, known for its progressive stance when it comes to sustainable policies and practices, passed the ordinance earlier this year after much consideration and discussion about the ban.
“We in Takoma Park, Md., have been a national leader in the preservation of natural resources and the environment,” said Councilmember Jarrett Smith who initially proposed the ban. “With this plastic bag ban, our tenacity for all things that protect the environment continues… Sligo Creek, the Chesapeake Bay, and other environmental treasures will always be a priority for our city.”
Mayor Kate Stewart echoed these sentiments: “Takoma Park is proud of its dedication to protect the environment and create a sustainable community. Our deep commitment is exemplified by our willingness to pioneer new programs, stemming back to the early days of recycling and tree protection laws.”
The plastic bag ban does provide a few exceptions, including dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags where newspapers are delivered by the publisher, and non-point of sale plastic bags, such as those used for raw or bulk items like produce, grains, candy and small hardware items. Farmers markets within the city are exempt from the ban for the first year until December 1, 2017, at which point they may provide compostable plastic bags to customers.
The emphasis for the first 90 days of the new ordinance will be on education and outreach to local business. For full text of the ordinance, please visit https:// documents.takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/ordinances/2016/ordinance-2016-31.pdf.
This article appeared in the January 2017 edition of the Takoma Park Newsletter. The Takoma Park Newsletter is available for download here.