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Plastic Bag Fee for Baltimore?

The Baltimore Sun has come out in favor of imposing a plastic bag fee there similar to the one recently imposed in Washington, D.C.

The Sun recommends that a 5-cent fee “should be seen as an investment in a cleaner, greener Baltimore, not just another revenue stream for the city’s general fund.” It recommends that the council “earmark the proceeds for the kinds of environmental enhancements people can appreciate, such as cleaning up the city’s waterways, planting trees or upgrading parks and bike trails.”

The city once had a dedicated fee for parks. In 1860, the city imposed a trolley fare tax that generated millions of dollars for the city’s greenspaces for 80 years.

While these fees are very different from one another, it does show that there is a history of establishing dedicated funding for the environment in Baltimore.

(It would be interesting to look at plastic bag usage compared to transit usage.  Many Baltimore residents may actually use more plastic bags than they do public transit.)

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