The Baltimore City Council is once again trying to ban polystyrene foam products, after previous attempts have been prevented.
City councilman John Bullock, reintroduced the ban to the City Council at the council meeting earlier this month. He wants to cut down on polystyrene foam containers for carryout food and drinks. His proposal states that “no food service facility may use any disposable food service ware that is made from polystyrene foam.” If passed, Bullock’s bill would enforce a $1,000 fine to any business the uses polystyrene foam products.
In 2013, the council postponed action on a possible foam ban once several members withdrew their support.
Those who disagreed with the bill in 2013 felt that a foam ban would be too costly for local restaurants. Additionally, they believed that a ban would not successfully reduce litter in Baltimore.
Alternatives to foam products are very expensive. Foam bans are an unfair disadvantage to businesses and restaurants as the cost for alternatives can cost 2.5 times as much as polystyrene foam products.
In order to break one’s bad habits of littering, educational programs need to be instilled to teach individuals about the importance of recycling. If foam products are banned in Baltimore, residents will continue to dispose of the new product in the same way they did the banned item.
The foam ban legislation has faced tough opposition from businesses and restaurants in the past so it is unsure as to whether the bill will pass this go-around. Hopefully, the City Council will keep these small businesses in mind when making a decision.