A City Council vote on a bill that would ban foam cups and containers in Baltimore was postponed this week.
After heavy storms like those seen in Baltimore last week, trash—including non-biodegradable foam containers—flood the city’s creeks, streams, and Inner Harbor.
Councilman James Kraft, lead sponsor of the legislation, told the Baltimore Sun that he remains hopeful Baltimore can become the first major East Coast city to adopt such a ban. According to the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, numerous West Coast cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, have already banned polystyrene. Similar proposals are being considered in New York, Boston, and Chicago.
The Baltimore Brew reported that lobbyist Lisa Harris Jones, a close friend of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and registered to represent the American Chemistry Council before the City Council on polystyrene and related matters, was in City Hall this week "working the bill hard."
“There’s been various surveys done, but it’s been shown to be about 20 and 30 percent of the total litter that ends up in the harbor,” Baltimore Harbor Waterkeeper Tina Meyers told WJZ. Styrofoam—a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company—and other polystyrene containers have been shown to last over hundreds of years, Meyers added.