about south river federation

Last week, Erik went into Annapolis to lobby in support of HB 1034, better known to me as the “bag bill.”  When I found this out, my interest was perked and I wanted to find out more information.  When it comes down to it, the gist of the bill is to reduce the amount of plastic bags that end up as trash in Maryland’s waterways, like the South River. 

Already, Washington D.C. has instituted a 5 cent tax on bags and it has had positive impacts on both the environment and business fronts.  I was reading over some of the stats and the figures were quite impressive.  For example, before the bill passed in D.C. plastic bags accounted for 47% of trash in the Anacostia River.  After the bill passed, 66% fewer bags were pulled from the Anacostia River in 2010 versus 2009.  Next, the number of plastic bags sold dropped from 270 million in 2009 to 55 million in 2010 that is an 80% reduction.  Since there was a concern that the bag tax would affect businesses, it was interesting to find out that 78% of businesses reported that the bag bill had either a positive effect or no effect at all on business. 

With Project Clean Stream this Saturday, it will be interesting to see the amount of bags we pull out from behind Home Depot.  I know it might sound funny to say “I like this tax”, but I do.  In my opinion, the bill will make people think twice.  They might think, do I really need this bag or maybe they will take into consideration the environmental impact bags have on the waterways and the wildlife living in it.  Either way, it makes a consumer pause and think even if it’s just for a moment. 

If you’re interested in finding out more information on the bill click here to read the entire HB 1034 bill or check out the Sierra Club website for more information on ways you can contact your representative.