Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags Starts January 1, 2024

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For immediate release: 
August 30, 2023

For more information, contact: 
Linda Lowe, Public Information Officer
Department of the Environment; (301) 836-2115


Prince George’s County Ban on Single-Use Plastic Bags Starts 
January 1, 2024

The new ordinance protects waterways, reduces plastic pollution and litter


Largo, MD – A new ban on single-use, carryout plastic bags distributed at check-out registers by retailers and other businesses in Prince George’s County will go into effect on January 1, 2024. CB-032-2023, approved by the County Council in June 2023, also requires retailers to charge at least a 10-cent fee for each paper and reusable bag sold to consumers. The ban was enacted to protect local waterways and marine life, reduce plastic pollution and litter, and promote reusable bags.  

“Plastic bags do not biodegrade and contaminate our local waterways, causing harm to marine life, clogging our storm drains, and littering our streets and communities,” says Department of the Environment (DoE) Director Andrea Crooms. “This ban encourages consumers to reduce waste and addresses one of the County’s Climate Action Plan recommendations, an important step in maintaining a sustainable County and reducing our carbon footprint.”  

The ban applies to all retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, or any other establishment providing single-use plastic bags to customers at the point of sale or service. The ban doesn’t apply to bags that package bulk items (produce, grains, small hardware, etc.), bakery goods, fish, meat, flowers, and dry cleaning. No charges apply to paper bags for prescription medicine and take-out food by restaurants or prepared food provided at a drive-through. Visit for a complete list of exemptions. 

Various studies show plastic bag laws change shopper behavior and reduce plastic pollution. Prince George’s County municipalities and other local jurisdictions have implemented similar single-use plastic bag ordinances. The Department of the Environment will lead the enforcement, public outreach, and education efforts as the County shifts to reusable bags. 

The legislation defines a reusable carryout bag as a bag with stitched handles specifically designed and manufactured for multiple reuses, made of cloth or other washable fabric, and made of durable material suitable for various re-use that is not made of plastic film. To assist residents in making the transition, the County will provide a limited amount of free reusable bags and will announce distribution dates and locations once finalized.

You can learn more about CB-032-2032 and review frequently asked questions by visiting

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