Montgomery County, Maryland has banned expanded polystyrene foam in food packaging, for consumer use, and packing peanuts!
Expanded polystyrene foam, known as Styrofoam, makes up a quarter of all trash found in our local rivers. Banning this trash at the source — where it’s distributed to consumers — will help prevent it from reaching our rivers. That means less trash in the rivers we paddle and swim in.
Our friends at Trash Free Maryland summarize the legislation:
– On January 1, 2016, restaurants and carryouts will be banned from using expanded polystyrene foam food packaging (like clamshells, plates and cups). County offices and contractors will also be required to use recyclable or compostable alternatives for all disposable food packaging.
– On January 1, 2017, all disposable food packaging at restaurants and carryouts must also be recyclable or compostable.
The Montgomery County ban also includes sale of foam food packaging for consumer use (like 100-packs of cups you might buy at the grocery store) and foam packing peanuts, effective January 2016.
Thank you to all of the organizations who helped to make this happen, especially Trash Free Maryland for leading the way! A special thanks to Councilmembers Leventhal, Berliner, and Riemer, and all of the MoCo councilmembers for leading the charge to pass this important legislation.