Bag It Right

The Better Bag Bill (CB-32-2023), also known as the Bag It Right initiative, is a Prince George's County bill that takes effect as of January 1, 2024. After January 1, 2024, no plastic bags will be available in County retail establishments at the point of sale, which is essentially the checkout. We encourage all residents to visit the County Bag It Right webpage for more information and resources. 

This bill follows up on a 2015 ordinance in the County which prohibited plastic bags from being recycled at curbside recycling because of the incapability of the recycling facility (frequently known as a MRF) to process the bags due to them clogging the machinery. The Better Bag Bill goes a step further to keep plastic out of our environment and waterways and away from wildlife by prohibiting the excessive use of it at the point of sale. It should be noted that plastic bags are created using fossil fuels, which lead to excess green house gases in our atmosphere and contribute to climate change. Plastic also never fully breaks downs or decomposes, therefore remaining on Earth in the form of smaller plastics and micro plastics forever.

Residents and shoppers are highly encouraged to start brining their own reusable bags, as it is the most environmentally friendly option, but paper bags will be provided for a charge of 10 cents each. This is not a tax but a way to help the retail establishments to offset any added cost for purchasing paper bags and to incentivize residents to choose reusable. Again, this is a County bill and will be enforced by Prince Georges County but will affect shoppers and residents of Bowie. 

Exemptions include: 

  • Package bulk items, including fruit, vegetables, nuts, grains, candy, or small hardware items. 
  • Wrap frozen foods, meat, or fish, whether prepackaged or not.
  • Wrap flowers, potted plants, or other damp items.
  • Contain unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods. 
  • Protect or contain garments or dry–cleaned clothes; protect suits, dresses, and formal wear. 
  • Take live fish, insects, mollusks, or crustaceans away from the retail store.

Image with information about the plastic bag ban.