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Carryout Bag Law

Montgomery County's Bag Law (Section 52-102 of the County Code) states that customers at all Montgomery County retail stores are to be charged 5-cents for each paper or plastic carryout bag they get at the checkout counter to carry purchases out. The Carryout Bag Law works by encouraging the public to bring their own shopping bag, and avoid taking a single-use, disposable bag which might end up as litter.

Exemptions to the Carryout Bag Law include:

  • Bags used to hold prescription drug(s).
  • Bags which are sold for initial use as yard waste bags, pet waste bags, garbage bags, dry cleaning bags, or newspaper bags.
  • Bags provided by a seasonal stand or street fair stall, such as farmer's market.
  • Bags used to package a bulk item or to contain or wrap a perishable item (within a grocery store).
  • A paper bag that a restaurant gives a customer to take prepared or leftover food or drink from the restaurant.
Retailers will have to record the bag charge on receipts, and transmit the bag charge revenues to the County via a secure County Web site.

The Carryout Bag Law is one of many strategies the County is using to meet federal and state regulatory requirements to reduce the litter in local waterways. Revenues from the Carryout Bag Law can only be used to defray the County's costs of litter reduction programs as well as for other stormwater control and water quality protection programs.

For further information, please click on the link below. Online Customers who wish to speak directly with a DEP staff member regarding the Carryout Bag Law may create a Service Request by clicking on the Create Service Request button below. For inquiries requiring the response of a DEP investigator, residents will typically be contacted within 3 days although resolution of the issue may take longer depending on the circumstances of the case.

Find more information from the following link(s):