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Maryland Could Be the First State to Ban Styrofoam Food Containers

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Local Styrofoam bans exist in several states, but Maryland would be the first to institute a state-wide ban.

A bill awaiting the governor’s signature could make Maryland the first state to ban Styrofoam cups and food containers.

The material is already banned in Maryland’s two most populous counties. Currently, a total of 12 states and Washington, D.C., have local bans on these foam food containers. You won’t be able to find Styrofoam at restaurants in New York City, Miami Beach, Seattle, Maui County, or Los Angeles County, among many other cities and counties across the country. At least 65 ordinances exist to ban foam containers in California at the local level. Recent efforts in California and Hawaii to ban Styrofoam at the state level failed to pass into law, though lawmakers are pursuing other bills to ban single-use plastics.

Maryland’s proposed law would prevent food service businesses and schools from providing or selling any foam food containers, plates, cups, trays, or egg cartons. The ban, which would go into effect on July 1st, 2020, has made it through the state Senate and House of Delegates, leaving it up to Republican Governor Larry Hogan to sign it into law. The Washington Post reported that the bill had enough support in both chambers of the legislature to override a veto, should Hogan choose to issue one. He has not expressed a public stance on the issue.

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