After balking twice before, Maryland lawmakers this year adopted the nation’s first statewide ban on polystyrene foam food and drink containers.
“We were pleasantly surprised by how much we got done,” said Karla Raettig, executive director of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters. “We saw some disappointments, but we saw a lot of progress.”
Lawmakers had refused for two years to pass a ban on polystyrene foam food containers, heeding concerns about the costs to food outlets. But advocates pressed the case again this year. They pointed out that two of Maryland’s largest counties, Prince George’s and Montgomery, had already enacted local bans, and others are scheduled to take effect in the coming year.Although I've never seen that actually demonstrated.
Foam food and drink containers make up 10% to 40% of the litter collected in stream cleanups, according to the nonprofit Trash-Free Maryland. Beyond that, they argue, the foam poses threats to wildlife and human health, as it picks up contaminants and breaks down into tiny particles that can be easily ingested.
“The health of the Chesapeake Bay, our waterways, our neighborhoods and our children’s futures depends on our willingness to do the hard work of cleaning the mess that we inherited and created,” said Del. Brooke Lierman, D-Baltimore city, lead sponsor of the House version of the bill.When are they going to ban plastic tampon applicators, which I see on the beach all the time?
The day the bill passed, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore, a nonprofit pushing for a cleaner harbor, announced that three floating trash wheels placed in the water there had collected more than 1 million pieces of plastic foam in the last five years.
The Wombat, appropriately enough, has Rule 5 Sunday: I Like ‘Em Dumb And Busty ready for your amazement.