A new 5-cent bag tax is now in effect in Montgomery County. Both paper and plastic bags will now cost a nickel at grocery stores and many other businesses around the county.
The fee was approved last May by the Montgomery County Council. It's expected to generate $1 million this year, some of which will be used for water and litter cleanup.
County officials have already distributed 30,000 reusable bags to residents, and volunteers will hand out hundreds more in Rockville, Wheaton, Bethesda and Germantown starting at noon on Tuesday.
The fee is modeled after the 5-cent bag tax that took effect in Washington D.C. two years ago. So far, the District has raised more than $2 million from the fee.