- The Maryland state legislature will review several environmental bills focused on solid waste management this session, most notably a "bottle bill" titled the Maryland Redeemable Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Act. This bill would require a 5-cent refund value on every redeemable beverage container sold in Maryland, and would also promote a recycling program that is intended to triple Maryland's beverage container recycling rate, create green jobs, and reduce litter.
- Other solid waste-focused bills to be reviewed are:
- The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act, which would be reauthorized to mandate a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030.
- The Community Cleanup and Greening Act, which would end distribution of free plastic bags in stores, mandate a 10-cent fee for each paper disposable carryout bag, and allow stores to pay a 5-cent credit to customers who bring their own bags
- The Poultry Litter Management Act, which would require poultry companies to manage their animal waste.
- Lawmakers and advocates met at the Maryland Environmental Legislative Summit last week to discuss the legislation, where Attorney General Brian Frost encouraged the state to stop oversighting environmental issues. "We're less safe with less," he said, as reported in Capital Gazette.
Maryland is moving forward on multiple environmental reform fronts, with its cities and counties focusing this year on projects such as significant recycling and composting expansions, buckling down on plastics, and innovative trash cans.
The state is also implementing such initiatives to be proactive, especially in the face of environmental crises like the water contamination issue in Flint, MI. "That can happen anywhere ... if you're not proactive," said House Speaker Michael E. Busch of the issue, as reported in Capital Gazette.
In addition to the solid waste-focused bills, Maryland is looking at many other environmental bills such as the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Pollinator Protection Act of 2016, Lead Risk Reduction Standards, Stormwater Management, and On-Site Sewage Disposal Systems.