Disposable Plastic Bag Fee

Welcome to the Howard County Disposable Plastic Bag Fee Payment portal.

Beginning October 1, 2020; all retailers are required to collect $0.05 for each disposable plastic bag issued to a customer at the point of sale in accordance to Section 20, Subtitle 13 of the Howard County Code (Sections 20.1300 et. Seq., “Disposable Bag Fee”).

Retailers are required to display signage where carts are kept and at each place where customers pay. Howard County has designed suggested signs and cards (downloadable versions below). Stores may create their own signs if they meet the guidelines outlined in the law.

                                                     3x5 cashier card      4x6 cashier card      8.5x11 poster      8.5x14 poster

See Howard County Council Bill 64-2019 and Maryland Code, Local Gov't § 13-1001 for additional information.

  • If you provide MORE than 1,000 disposable plastic bags during the calendar quarter, you must report the total number of bags and remit $0.04 for each disposable plastic bag provided to your customer at the point of sale to the Director of Finance. Remittances are due for the quarter on or before your last business day of each calendar quarter (3/31, 6/30, 9/30, 12/31). Payments will only be accepted via e-check online at www.howardcountymd.gov/bag-fee. Your first payment is due on or before 12/31/2020.

Any retailer that fails to remit payment to the Director of Finance as indicated will be issued an estimated bill and subject to 1% late fee per month or part of month that the remittance is past due.

  • If you provide LESS than 1,000 disposable plastic bags at the point of sale during the calendar quarter, you must report the total number of bags using the Howard County Minimum Bag Fee Exemption form. This form should be emailed to bagfee@howardcountymd.gov on or before your last business day of each calendar quarter (3/31, 6/30, 9/30, 12/31). Your first form is due on or before 12/31/2020.
  • If you DO NOT PROVIDE disposable plastic bags at the point of sale, you must complete the Howard County Annual Bag Fee Exemption Certification form. This form should be emailed to bagfee@howardcountymd.gov by July 31st of each year except for the first year, which is due by 10/31/2020.
  • If you DO NOT SELL products at the