County's proposed shopping bag bill is dead

Supporters of a proposed plastic shopping bag fee in Prince George’s county say it’s a sad day for the local rivers and ocean.

The legislation that would have allowed the county to consider a bag fee of 5c was killed in the Environmental Matters Committee last Saturday morning.

The Washington Post writes: Prince George’s council member Mary A. Lehman (D-Laurel) and several environmental groups pushed for the measure, but it faced opposition from the plastic bag industry and the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce, which said it might harm low-income residents. Opponents robocalled lawmakers and targeted Prince George’s residents with radio advertisements, questioning the cost of the fee and whether it would help consumers or the environment.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote, Council woman Lehman writes: Rest assured that while I am frustrated by this bill dying the way it did, I will not give up. It is the right thing to do, we just need to keep educating our neighbors, friends and, yes, the foes of this important legislation. We lost the battle for this year, but I have no doubt we will win the bag fee war! I look forward to continuing to work with all of you on this and other environmental issues.