PREP Grants

As of October 1, 2020, all stores in Howard County are required to charge a Plastic Bag Fee of 5 cents per disposable plastic bag used. Businesses keep one cent from every five-cent fee and the remainder is collected by Howard County Government and put into a Disposable Plastics Reduction Fund. In 2021 the Office of Community Sustainability began using the bag fee funds for a program for Plastics Reduction and Environmental Protection (PREP). Environmental non-profits in Howard County can apply for funding projects that will make our community cleaner and greener.

PREP Grant Application

The 2024 PREP grant application is now available. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on April 30, 2024, and should be submitted via e-mail to

In PREP grant year four (2024) we are particularly interested in environmental protection projects that help implement the Strategies and Actions outlined in Howard County’s Climate Forward: Climate Action and Resiliency Plan. As in years past, we continue to welcome projects that educate the public about the benefits and methods of reducing the use of disposable plastics.

PREP Grant Projects

The first three years of PREP grants (2021, 2022, and 2023) funded a total of 32 projects. The total amount funded through the PREP grant is $957,833 over three years. Click the links below to learn more about the 2021, 2022, and 2023 PREP grant projects.