A survey conducted by the Prince George's Sierra Club and the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch of shoppers at five major grocery chains in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties shows the potentially large impact of a small bag fee on shopper behavior and, ultimately, on plastic bag trash in the state’s waterways. Shoppers with bagged groceries in Montgomery County, which adopted a 5-cent fee on disposable carryout bags in 2012, were seven times more likely to use a reusable shopping bag (57%) than were shoppers in Prince George’s County (8%), which does not have a fee. Read more
Photo: Susie Foushée records shoppers’ bag behavior at a Giant in Bowie.
Single-use disposable plastic bags are an important source of litter and are harmful to wildlife and the environment. The Prince George’s Sierra Club Group and the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch in Montgomery County are collaborating on a two-county survey of reusable bag use. A 2012 survey of nearly 8,000 shoppers exiting 51 grocery stores in Prince George’s County found that only 7% were using reusable bags. The 2014 survey will document changes in reusable bag behavior in Prince George’s in the absence of a bag fee, while the results for Montgomery will document higher levels of reusable bag use in a county where a 5-cent bag fee was adopted in early 2012. Read more