[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Charles County 10-23-2018 by Bill No. 2018-07. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Former Ch. 295, Zoning Regulations, adopted 12-31-1974 by Ord. No. 74-50, was repealed 8-31-1992 by Ord. No. 92-62.
The Board of County Commissioners of Charles County, Maryland adopted the Charles County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan 2011-2021 on November 18, 2014. That plan included, but was not limited to, the following goals: preservation and protection of the environment; protection of human health and safety to provide a quality living environment; and promote the recycling and reuse of materials throughout the County.
There is a growing trend amoung local jurisdictions in this country to ban or significantly reduce the use of noncompostable straws/stirrers as a measure towards more sound environmentally sustainable activities.
The Board of County Commissioners of Charles County conclude that it is in the public interest to join in this effort by prohibiting the use of noncompostable straws/stirrers in restaurants located in Charles County.
In this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated.
- Carries the same definition as set forth in the Environment Article of the Maryland Annotated Code, § 9-2102(B)(1).
- HEALTH OFFICER
- The Charles County Health Officer or the Health Officer's Designee.
- Shall be interpreted to include all the following establishments as defined in § 297-49 of the Charles County Code:
- Is an implement designed for one-time use to mix or blend a liquid or other substance, including a beverage stick, swizzle stick, or cocktail stirrer.
- A drinking tube designed for one-time use to consume a beverage or other liquid.
By July 1, 2020, no restaurant shall sell, distribute or otherwise provide a straw or stirrer with food or beverage unless the straw or stirrer is compostable.
This prohibition shall not apply to prepackaged drinks that have a plastic straw affixed during the prepackaging process and received by the restaurant with the plastic straw attached.
The Health Officer shall be charged with the enforcement of this chapter. No enforcement action will be taken before January 1, 2021.
The Health Officer may enforce the provisions of this chapter through injunctive proceedings, action for specific performance, or any other appropriate proceeding.
Any person who owns, operates or is employed by a restaurantant and who knowingly and willfully violates the provisions of this chapter is subject to a civil fine up to $150 for each incident that occurs in violation of this chapter. A court with competent jurisdiction may impose these fines as ancillary relief in the injunctive proceedings or as damages in separate civil proceedings.
Funds collected by Charles County from the imposition of fines pursuant to this section will be directed to the County's recycling programs.
If any part of this chapter is held to be invalid, the invalidity shall not affect the other remaining parts.