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Baltimore May Take Middle Road On Bag Bill

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By Sabri Ben-Achour

A plastic bag bill being considered by Baltimore's City Council is taking a middle road in the debate over how to deal with litter from grocery carriers.

A Baltimore City Council committee opted not to follow the example of D.C., and rejected a bag surcharge. Instead, they approved a bill that would allow food sellers two options: voluntarily cut back on plastic bag use and meet certain recycling requirements, or be banned from using plastic bags altogether.

Food sellers would be required to keep track of certain data in order to find out whether people use fewer bags or just switch to paper. Councilman James B. Kraft says he believes he has enough votes to pass the bill precisely because it avoids a bag fee or a total ban. Maryland's General Assembly is considering such a bag surcharge that would apply statewide.

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