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Plastic Bag Ban Reintroduced At Baltimore City Council Meeting

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The so-called plastic bag ban is back on the table in Baltimore City. The measure was reintroduced after it was vetoed by the mayor late last year.

Marcus Washington has more on why this conversation is getting mixed reviews.

That now famous question of paper or plastic at the checkout counter is something you don't hear too often.

That's because more businesses push for the cheaper and arguably stronger option--plastic.

But that option is facing the chopping block--again--after being reintroduced at the Baltimore City Council's meeting Monday night.

"At the end of the day, reusable bag usage is the win-win that we can get out of this because the city win if more people are using reusable bags because there's less litter to pick up. And the retailers benefit from more customers using reusable bags because the retailers are paying for the disposable bags," said Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry.

The ban, previously introduced as a five cents tax for using plastic over paper, was not and still is not welcomed by many shoppers.

"The store having the plastic bag is so convenient, so convenient. And to do away with them I think is a little bit ridiculous," said Michael Mahon.

Some people think banning the plastic bag will only force business owners to pass down any increases to customers.

"The food is so expensive nowadays, you need the bags. And we've paid for the bags by paying for the food because taxes is so high on the food, too," said Lisa Jackson.

Not to add Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake vetoed the bill for last minute changes in its language.

"You can't introduce a substantial change to a legislation to change a whole bill at 4:30 and then pass it at 5 o'clock," the mayor said.

Now shoppers carting around an option that many feel should never have been presented.

"What's going to be next? Next, you're not going to be able to do paper. You're going to have to bring your own bags in," said Matt Reed.

While others who think beyond their wallets welcome the change.

"And in Baltimore City, we have a lot of problems with dirty alleys and such, so I'm all for recycling," said Jeanne Barnes.

Currently in Maryland, Montgomery County has a five cents minimum price requirement for all plastic and paper bags passed in 2011.

That same year, Chestertown banned plastic bags and restricted the distribution of paper bags for all retailers.

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