The Baltimore City Council has unanimously approved a ban on all styrofoam plastic containers for carryout food and drinks on Monday, March 12th.
Despite the bill having failed to pass a few times previously, lawmakers agreed on it after a few changes were made. The new bill gives business owners 18 months to phase out styrofoam, whereas previous attempts to pass the bill would have given only 90 days to comply.
City Council President Jack Young said, "Most businesses have already started phasing out styrofoam." Styrofoam in particular is a widespread pollutant of the Inner Harbor and takes a very long time to decompose compared to paper containers or cups, which are mostly recyclable. Mr. Trash Wheel, positioned to collect garbage from entering the Inner Harbor by way of the Jones Falls River, lists polystyrene containers as the second-most pollutant collected behind cigarette butts.
Dunkin' Donuts recently announced they would phase out styrofoam cups company-wide by 2020.
Similarly, McDonald's announced in January that they would end the use of styrofoam cups and trays by the end of 2018 and would have 100% recycled fiber-based packaging globally by 2020.
Source: WJZ 13