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Residents of Montgomery County, Md., could soon bid farewell to Styrofoam food packaging, thanks to a bill introduced by Councilmembers Hans Riemer and George Leventhal, on Sept. 9.

If passed, the bill would ban supermarkets, restaurants and food trucks from using plastic foam cups and containers. Instead, food chains will be challenged to only provide recyclable or compostable food ware.

Riemer, along with supporters of the proposed bill, argue that the use of Styrofoam containers is bad for the environment because they aren’t recyclable. Additionally, he told the Gazette, Styrofoam containers never biodegrade, but rather, break apart, which makes them difficult to clean up.

“Recyclable and compostable alternatives are readily available and competitively priced, so there is no reason for any establishment to continue using foam products,” said Reimer, D-At-Large.

According to WJLA, a local ABC affiliate, the legislation would also ban the sale of foam containers, cups, and even foam packing peanuts at stores in the county.

The proposed ban bears a resemblance to legislation already in place in the District of Columbia, which was approved in July by the D.C. Council. The bill banned restaurants, supermarket and other food services from using Styrofoam containers. The foam ban is said to be part of a broader environmental bill, the Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2014, which was introduced by Mayor Vincent Gray (D).

Similar bills have also been passed in San Francisco, Seattle and New York.

A public hearing on the Montgomery County Maryland bill is slated for next month. If the bill is approved, it would be enforced on Jan. 1, 2016.

 

Maria Adebola

Special to the AFRO