As 2023 quickly passes in the rearview mirror Centreville residents, visitors and businesses embark on new retail behaviors that don’t include single-use plastic bags. Like many jurisdictions throughout the country, the Town of Centreville instituted a single-use plastic bag ban that went into effect on January 1.
Centreville joins Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties and the City of Frederick whose plastic bag bans also started the first of the year. According to the Maryland Retailer’s Alliance, more than 70% of Marylanders now live in jurisdictions with carry out bag policies in place.
On July 20, 2023, Centreville Town Council passed the ordinance to ban single-use plastic carry out bags within Centreville town limits. For Town Council President Ashley Kaiser while the ban addresses single-use plastic bags the spirit of the ordinance is to encourage the use of reusable bags and eliminate the reliance on plastic bags, many of which end up polluting our highways and waterways.
“Consumers have an opportunity to play a significant role in the implementation of this bill. I don’t think that anyone who is shopping at a local business wants to burden a local business, but instead wants to support them. If a paper bag fee is going to be a problem for you, decline the bag,” says Kaiser. “There are things people can do to change their behavior like making a point to remember to always carry reusable bags with them,” she adds.
Following that philosophy, the Town of Centreville launched a “Bring Your Own Bag” campaign in October in coordination with Plastic Free QAC. The campaign included specially designed reusable bags with a rack card featuring information on the bag ban as well as tips for how to remember to bring your bag to your next shopping trip.
Bags were handed out at Centreville Day in October and at the Centreville Farmers’ Market Heck with the Malls market day in December and were made available at Town Hall. A limited supply of Town reusable bags and vintage farmers’ market reusable bags are currently available for consumers to pick up at Centreville Town Hall from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Centreville single-use plastic bag ordinance stipulates that retail establishments with the exception of food service facilities “shall charge, collect and retain at least 10 cents for each paper carry out bag that it provides to a customer.” Exceptions to the ordinance includes, but are not limited to:
- Nonprofit fraternal, civic, war veterans, religious, or charitable organizations and fire companies can still use plastic carry out bags.
- Due to cross contamination concerns restaurants may not allow customers to use their own reusable bags. Restaurants will provide paper bags, but will not charge a paper bag fee.
- The Centreville Market’s Market and cottage food businesses can continue to use plastic.
- Pharmacies and opticians will not charge a paper bag fee for prescription items.
Consumers and business owners who want to read the full text of the ordinance and frequently asked questions can visit townofcentreville.org and type “plastic bag ban” in the search window. For more information, please contact Carol D’Agostino, [email protected] or (410) 758-1180, ext. 17.