Baltimore City Goes BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag

On October 1, Baltimore City is set to enact a near total plastic bag ban on retail purchases.

Originally set to start in January 2021, but pushed back to October due to the pandemic, Baltimore City is set to implement a near total plastic bag ban on retail purchases. This ban is part of the city’s Comprehensive Bag Reduction Act, meant to curb plastic bag pollution in the city, especially in it’s waterways.  

The legislation also mandates that retailers begin charging a minimum of $0.05 per bag to customers and pay the city a tax of $0.01 per bag. Retailers that do not follow the ban will face progressive fines of $250, $500, and $1000, as well as possible criminal and civil penalties.

The legislation does list certain exemptions to the ban:

  • “fresh fish and fresh fish products;
  • fresh meat and fresh meat products;
  • fresh poultry and fresh poultry products
  • otherwise unpackaged fruits, nuts, or vegetables;
  • otherwise unpackaged confectionery;
  • otherwise unpackaged fresh cheese;
  • otherwise unpackaged baked goods;
  • ice;
  • foods and goods obtained at a farmers’ market;
  • prescription drugs obtained from a pharmacy;
  • newspapers; or
  • dry-cleaned goods” (Baltimore City).

More Information for Retailers

More Information for Residents