2 Maryland cities consider plastic bag ban

June 8, 2007 at 10:14 PM
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BALTIMORE, June 8 (UPI) -- Maryland's largest city and its state capital are both considering banning plastic grocery bags.

Proponents of a ban in Baltimore and Annapolis say plastic bags, made from petroleum, are a drain on resources. Many bags end up either hanging from trees, caught in bushes or in waterways and the ocean, where they can kill aquatic animals.

"Banning plastic is the right way to go. We can live without plastic checkout bags," said the sponsor of the Annapolis ordinance, Alderman Samuel E. Shropshire.

In Baltimore, Councilman James Kraft plans to introduce an ordinance Monday, The Baltimore Sun reported. A vote is expected in July in Annapolis.

Both ordinances are opposed by retailers. Opponents say plastic bags are recyclable and are considerably cheaper than paper ones, costing an average of 2 cents a piece compared to 9 cents for paper.

Store owners argue that their customers want a choice because carrying wet or frozen food is easier in plastic.

San Francisco in April became the first city in the country to ban plastic bags.

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