WASHINGTON — It’s kept your coffee hot and your takeout from leaking, but a group of lawmakers in Annapolis says it’s time to ban polystyrene foam — often referred to as Styrofoam.
The effort to make Maryland “foam-free” has been adopted by House and Senate Democrats in Annapolis. The ban is among the priorities they’ve announced for the upcoming legislative session.
Del. Derrick E. Davis, who represents Prince George’s County, where a ban is in place, said the negative impacts of the substance — the damage to waterways and marine life — make a statewide ban a necessary move.
“Look, for every square mile in our ocean, we have 46,000 pieces of floating plastic — every square mile!” he said at a news conference in Annapolis on Tuesday morning.
Davis said he was skeptical at first that practical alternatives could be found.
But seeing how the ban has worked in Prince George’s County, he said he’s convinced.
“We are seeing viable alternatives that are much safer, that are environmentally friendly, and this is something we need to do,” he said.
Polystyrene foam has been banned in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, Baltimore City and Annapolis. If the legislation passes the General Assembly, Maryland would be the first to enact a statewide ban.
Efforts to pass a ban have failed before, with some businesses saying the cost of alternative products would hurt their profits.