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Keep the Change, Bring Your Bag Campaign

Montgomery County Government


Montgomery County, Maryland established a new disposable bag law, including a five-cent charge on each paper or plastic bag provided by retailers. The County government wanted to ensure that County residents, businesses, retailers and shoppers were fully informed and prepared for the new law. The County retained Chesapeake to create and execute an awareness campaign three months prior to the January 1, 2012 effective date.


Chesapeake created a multi-faceted strategy for a countywide public education and outreach campaign, focusing on four key stakeholders: retailers, residents, consumers, and employees.

The Chesapeake team built nearly 50 instrumental partnerships with various businesses and organizations. We established a creative brand for the Bag Law, which facilitated the creation of various collateral materials including point of sale signs, fact sheets and cashier talking points. All collateral materials were available online as a “tool box” of resources for businesses and residents. Throughout the campaign, Chesapeake worked with the County to organize targeted events to generate media coverage for the Bag Law and coordinated with community volunteers to canvass the County—distributing collaterals and reusable bags. In addition, the Chesapeake team collaborated with the County to place various ads on Ride-on buses, bus shelters, taxi tops and TV as well as provide news interviews.



Chesapeake generated a pervasive presence for the new law, resulting in a smooth transition and clarity for the community. Bag Law collateral materials and promotional items were heavily visible in all parts of the County. All told, nearly 200,000 point-of-sale signs, fact sheets, posters and cashier talking points reached retailers and residents - not including copies that businesses reproduced. With the help of Bag Law Partners, the County distributed over 100,000 free reusable bags to local residents, with special emphasis on low income and senior residents. In the weeks leading up to the January 1 effective date, the Bag Law landed extensive positive media coverage, as well as after.


County Government received a minimal volume of constituent calls after the law became effective, a true measurement of public awareness.

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