The common misconception is that foam #6 is a harmful product for both consumers and the environment. However, most don’t know that foam is recyclable and the use of foam products is beneficial to consumers. There are many EPS recycling centers across the United States and within the state of Maryland that make recycling foam products easy and convenient.
The recent polystyrene ban for the use of food containers in Annapolis, Maryland is going to affect both small businesses and consumers. By placing a ban on polystyrene products, restaurant owners, schools, hospitals, and other foam product users will be forced to find alternatives. Usually the alternative to common foam products are more expensive, for example the substitute for hot coffee cups is on average two and a half times more expensive than cups made of polystyrene. The eventual rise in costs for small businesses will trickle down and directly affect consumers.
Not only should residents expect to see prices rise if the foam ban continues, residents may be missing the local food that they once had. Food trucks and carts play an important role in the local culture and food scene in the city. The costly alternatives to foam can put these small businesses and local food trucks out of work and marginalize the food culture in the city.
Lastly, the foam bans on expanded polystyrene don’t address the main issue of littering. This is an environmental problem that won’t be fixed with bans on single products, especially if they are recyclable. People will litter regardless of the material – what needs to be discussed is people’s behavior and introductions of recycling education programs instead of product bans. Residents of Baltimore should oppose the ban on foam #6 products to keep small businesses in business and local food culture alive.