Maryland Pushes Back Styrofoam Ban

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is pushing back implementation of the foam ban 90 days due the the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2019 General Assembly Session the legislature passed a bill that would prohibit food service establishments from giving out singe-use styrofoam containers to customers. The bill takes effect beginning July 1 of this year, but decreased traffic at restaurants throughout the state has not allowed businesses and schools to run through their stock of styrofoam containers. This has led MDE to push back the start of the ban 90 days. In the 2019 legislation, MDE is permitted to grant up to a one year waiver from participation in the ban. The bill requires that counties enforce the ban.

From coverage in the Chesapeake Bay Magazine:

In a statement, Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles explains, “We’re not altering the effective dates of any county or municipal laws on the sale or use of these styrofoam products. This is solely about finding a modest accommodation for those in need in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, while upholding an important new environmental law that could become a model for many other states.”

With low levels of recycling and a tendency to break down into small pieces that greatly contribute to pollution levels, styrofoam is often viewed as an environmental hazard.

Previous Coverage on Conduit Street: Maryland Passes First Statewide Styrofoam Food Container Ban

2019 Legislation