The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

    CHS settles into bag tax

    Almost two years after Montgomery County implemented its bag tax law in an effort to reduce litter, residents are finally settling into the system and have made it a part of their daily lives.

    The Montgomery County bag tax law implemented Jan. 1, 2012 requires retailers to charge five cents for every plastic and paper bag used. Retailers get to keep one out of the five cents and the rest goes toward the county’s Water Quality Protection Charge fund.

    Initially unwilling to accept the new tax, county residents have now adapted to the law and bring reusable bags out of habit.

    “We keep [reusable bags] in the car so when we go grocery shopping we just take them out,” senior Maria Koytcheva said.

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    Senior Ben Ertman also admits that it has become a habit for his family.

    “My mom brings reusable bags on weekly trips [to the grocery store] but sometimes forgets if it’s for something smaller,” senior Ben Ertman said.

    Ertman’s family owns around ten to 15 reusable shopping bags, but it does not bother Ertman to pay the tax when necessary.

    “I think it’s good to help the environment,” Ertman said.

    According to the county’s website, the county used to spend three million dollars to clean up litter. County residents are aware that the bag tax is helping to reduce litter and was levied for a good cause.

    According to Koytcheva, people in other counties and states are “super lucky” because they do not have to pay a fee for bags.

    “But [the tax] is better for the ecology, so I’m not against Maryland trying to motivate people to use reusable bags,” Koytcheva said.

    To most residents, five cents does not create a huge dent in their wallets. Even though some bring bags purely out of convenience, county residents are unconsciously helping to save the planet.

    More information about the bag tax law can be found on Montgomery County’s website:

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    CHS settles into bag tax