Montgomery Issues Guidance on Reusable Bag Use During Pandemic

Montgomery County shows the best practices for reusable bag use to keep residents safe while continuing to be eco-friendly.

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis reusable bags have been a subject of discussion, with some groups claiming they present another medium for virus transmission. This has put state and local programs to reduce shopper dependence on single-use bags under fire for encouraging reusable bag usage. In response, many governments have either suspended their programs for the duration of the pandemic or delayed implementation of new ones.

Conduit Street Podcast: Revisiting the Bag Ban… and Beyond

In early April, Montgomery County Council considered suspending their program. After discussions with environmental advocates and labor representatives, an agreement was reached that the County’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) would engage in a campaign to encourage residents to take appropriate steps when using reusable bags.

Today, DEP began their campaign with an information sheet and a social media campaign to inform residents that they should wash reusable bags between, and bag their own items at stores.

From Montgomery County Council:

“All of us are looking to maintain social distancing, but front-line workers need even greater protections from the possibility of virus transmission during incidental contact, like when at grocery check-out,” said Councilmember Jawando. “The County’s guidance is one way we can work together to protect people working in essential retail while preserving our preferred environmental practice of using reusable bags.”

Useful Links:

Montgomery DEP Cleaning & Disinfecting Reusable Bags Information Sheet

Prior coverage on Conduit Street: Montgomery County Will Not Suspend Bag Fee