ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WDVM)- Maryland could become the first state in the nation to ban foam food containers and cups. Lawmakers in Maryland passed a bill to do just that in an effort to protect the environment and clean up waterways.
Both the State House and Senate have passed bills to ban styrofoam in the state.
The bills prohibit restaurants, cafe, supermarkets, schools, and colleges from providing styrofoam. Senator Cheryl Kagan, (D) Montgomery County, the Senate sponsor of the bill, said 52 percent of the state already lives in areas that have enacted a foam ban, counties like Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.
“Our plant is facing a crisis of climate change and part of it is our litter, our singled used plastics and styrofoam is just a terrible of the group that we are facing as to how we could do better,” said Sen. Kagan.
Supporters of the bill say it would decrease the amount of plastic in the ocean.
“It does not biodegrade,” said Kagan. “It can not really be recycled and it gets onto our roadways and then our waterways where our mammals and fish it eat and then maybe we eat them.”
Opponents of the bill said the impact could hurt small businesses. Senator Michael Hough, (R) District 4, said the ban would not make a difference.
“Most the styrofoam you get from these big shipping containers or when you order something from Amazon, it is usually shipped in styrofoam,” said Hough. “This does not touch that. It is a very small number of styrofoam. It is not going to get any impact.”
The Senate bill and the House bill are slightly different from each other. Lawmakers said the difference will be worked out.
Senator Kagan said she has not heard from Governor Hogan and whether or not he would support the legislation. She does say even if the Hogan would veto the bill, both the House and Senate could override his veto.
Maryland would be the first state in the country to ban styrofoam. One other state is working on similar legislation.