Target: Thomas V. Mike Miller, Head of Maryland General Assembly Senate
Goal: Allow 5 cent plastic bag tax in Prince George’s County to deter people from using environmentally harmful plastic bags
Montgomery County, Maryland and Washington D.C. have a 5 cent tax on plastic bags. This tax deters people from using environmentally detrimental plastic bags for groceries and also goes to local cleanup efforts of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Prince George’s County has been unable to pass the 5 cent plastic bag tax bill because it has not yet been approved by Maryland General Assembly.
Before Washington D.C. implemented the tax in 2010, plastic bags littered the Anacostia River. The pollution rate has decreased sharply since then, and the fee has generated $2 million a year for the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund. For each bag sold, 4 cents go to the cleanup fund and 1 cent goes to the owner of the business charging the tax. According to Jeffrey Seltzer, District Department of the Environment Associate Director for Stormwater Management, businesses have generally approved of the tax.
Montgomery County has seen a 50 percent decrease in plastic bag pollution along the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers since the bill was implemented. However, the Anacostia River still has a plastic bag pollution problem. This is because half of the Anacostia watershed is in Prince George’s County, which does not have the 5 cent plastic bag tax. The bill is still under debate in Prince George’s County General Assembly. Unlike other counties in Maryland, Prince George’s County needs state approval to pass legislation. Last year Prince George’s County was unable to gain approval for the bill from Maryland General Assembly. Please encourage Maryland General Assembly to allow Prince George’s County to pass this bill.
Dear Mr. Miller,
We would like to encourage the Maryland General Assembly to approve the 5 cent plastic bag tax bill for Prince George’s County. As you may know, Washington D.C. and Montgomery County, MD have had these laws in effect for a couple of years. Both have seen major decreases in plastic bag pollution. Washington D.C. puts the revenue towards the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Fund and Montgomery County puts the money towards its Water Quality Protection Fund, which provides upgrades for stormwater facilities that capture pollutants before they flow into waterways.
The Anacostia River is far less polluted than it was, but a good part of the watershed is in Prince George’s County. Business owners are generally okay with this tax: 1 out of the 5 cents goes to them. Prince George’s County General Assembly was not allowed to pass the plastic tax proposal last year. Please enable the 5 cent plastic bag tax this year in PG County, for the sake of our rivers and water supply.
[Your Name Here]