MARYLAND IS EXPECTED to become the first U.S. state to ban foam food packaging, takeout containers and cups—and the latest in a growing worldwide effort to ban various disposable single-use plastic products.
The new proposed law passed both of the state’s legislative chambers this week with enough votes to override a potential veto signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who has not publicly signaled whether he supports the law or not.
The law would become the latest in a growing effort worldwide to ban an assortment of disposable, single-use plastic products, due to their impacts on the environment. Hogan reportedly has six days to sign or veto the law.
Prior to the statewide ban effort, Maryland’s two most populous counties—Prince George’s and Montgomery, which both border Washington, D.C.—had already banned foam packaging.
Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore), who sponsored similar legislation last year and in 2017, says changing public opinion helped her third attempt succeed (it was approved 100-37 in the House of Delegates).
“I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” she says. “People are seeing how ubiquitous single-use plastics are, that they are not recyclable and never going away. People are beginning to understand the importance of living more sustainably.”
The legislation was opposed by the Maryland Retailers Association, which warned that outlawing foam packaging could hurt small businesses by saddling them with higher costs. Foam packaging remains popular among restaurants and the food industry because it is lightweight, inexpensive, and keeps hot food and beverages hot.
Foam food containers have been banned in cities or counties in 11 states, including Seattle, Portland, Ore., Washington D.C., San Francisco, and numerous other cities in California. A ban in New York City took effect at the beginning of this year after a lengthy legal battle ended last summer.
Baltimore’s famous Mr. Trash Wheel, a floating device that picks up waste from the harbor, is reported to collect an average of 14,000 Styrofoam containers a month, which is said to be second only to cigarettes.
- What are Bioplastics and Biopolymers?
- Bioplastics Brands
- Bioplastics Awards
- What is the Difference Between Biodegradable, Compostable and OXO Degradable?
- The History and Most Important Innovations of Bioplastics
- What are Drop-In Bioplastics?
- History of Cellophane
- The History of Elephant Grass Bioplastics
- Bioplastics Companies
- Top Bioplastics Producers
- Polylactic acid or polylactide (PLA)
- What is Bio-BDO?
- McDonalds and the Polystyrene Connections
- The Future of Polystyrene
- Bioplastic Feedstock 1st, 2nd and 3rd Generations
- Palm Oil and The Bioplastics Industry
This article was published on http://www.nationalgeographic.com