What are greasy takeout and corner store coffee without the familiar squeak of a white styrofoam container? Better for everyone and the environment.
Maryland is on the cusp of doing away with polystyrene (styrofoam) cups, containers, and food packaging once and for all. According to CNBC, the State House of Delegates passed a bill last week that would ban polystyrene foam food containers and could slam a hefty $250 fine on offending retailers. However, items packed out-of-state will not be affected, so your beloved Cup O’ Noodles will be spared.
The ball is currently in Republican Governor Larry Hogan’s court. If he signs this bill into law, Maryland will be the first state to ban polystyrene food packaging. So far, two Maryland counties (Prince George’s and Montgomery) and three major US cities (New York, Miami, and Washington D.C.) have similar bans in place.
Unlike New York’s ban on plastic straws, a polystyrene ban will force businesses to prioritize easier-to-recycle alternatives instead of burdening consumers. While people with different abilities have voiced how a ban on plastic straws potentially affects them, foam container alternatives don't affect the consumer experience nearly as much.
Last year, Dunkin' Donuts tasked itself with phasing out its signature foam cup by 2020 and replacing it with a double-walled paper alternative.