As Baltimore City continues to navigate the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Brandon Scott today announced that the City will delay its upcoming ban on single-use plastic bags until October 1, giving retailers additional time to comply with the ordinance.
“Now that Baltimore is beginning to emerge from the pandemic and recover from its impacts, we recognize that retailers and residents could benefit from additional time to adopt this important change,” said Mayor Scott. “I look forward to robust, coordinated outreach and education efforts across the city in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, elected leaders, and community partners so that Baltimoreans understand the plastic bag ban and our efforts to make our city more sustainable and environmentally aware.”
As previously reported on Conduit Street, the Mayor In January signed an executive order postponing the implementation of Ordinance 20-337 – Comprehensive Bag Reduction, which prohibits retailers from distributing single-use plastic bags fewer than four millimeters thick, unless the bag is to contain certain products. Retailers must also charge customers a five-cent surcharge on other types of single-use bags, and may keep four cents to cover administrative costs.
Now, with the final pandemic-related restrictions set to expire in July, the City is embarking on a robust outreach strategy to educate residents about the upcoming ban on plastic bags and distribute reusable bags where residents most need them.
According to a press release:
From June through October, the Office of Sustainability will work alongside elected officials, community partners, and local institutions to educate residents and retailers about the new effective date and purpose of the ban. The City will also lead efforts to distribute thousands of reusable bags to residents through a lens of equity, while also supporting retailers in the months leading up to the ban.
“I’m excited to support the Office of Sustainability’s public education campaign on the plastic bag ban as we move out of the state of emergency,” said Comptroller Bill Henry. “Collaboration is the only way to accomplish the ban’s goal – reducing plastic waste in our waterways and lessening our reliance on fossil fuels.”