Did you know polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) is the second most common type of litter collected by the Baltimore Harbor Water Wheel, known as Mr. Trash Wheel? In Baltimore City, we recognize the need to address our pervasive litter issue yet many of us find ourselves unsure of where to start. As expanded polystyrene litter remains an environmental concern with impacts on our public health, Blue Water Baltimore has been working tirelessly in support of a state-wide phase out of expanded polystyrene (SB186/HB229) to ensure we achieve clean water and healthy neighborhoods.
Right now, the Senate Education, Health, Environment Committee and House Environment and Transportation Committee are considering (SB186/HB229) to phase out the use of polystyrene to-go packaging statewide. If the bill passes, food service businesses and institutions will no longer serve food in polystyrene foam packaging (cups, plates, clamshells) by January 2018.
On February 8th over 130 environmental advocates convened from around the state including 100 Baltimore City students and teachers to educate our state officials regarding the public health impacts of continued use of foam to-go packaging. Students spoke one-on-one with Del. Brooke Lierman after being announced by her from the State House floor letting all of the General Assembly know they were there to phase-out foam!
The House Environment and Transportation Committee heard HB229 late into the evening (8-10pm to be exact!) on February 15th. We greatly appreciate the committee members’ time and attention as they heard from our supporters regarding the bill. We urge a favorable report and hope to have a vote from both the Senate and House committees soon.
Do you want to express your support the expanded polystyrene phase-out? Click here to write a letter to your representatives today telling them to support SB186/HB229!