Recently, the College Park City Council voted in support of MD Senate Bill 651, a bill to prohibit certain uses of expanded polystyrene food service product in 2019.
The City letter states that expanded polystyrene is used in wide range of packaging. The polystyrene products do not break down and can be found in landfills, waterways, and roadsides.
Prince George’s County and Montgomery County have already banned certain uses of this product in food establishments, and the Council strongly supports State legislation for a similar ban. Carryout food from restaurants in these counties generally must be placed in products that are recyclable or compostable.
The Bill SB 551 should reduce polystyrene litter and reduce the negative impact of polystyrene on wildlife.
In a 2014 report, MDE noted that, in Maryland, only Caroline, Howard and Washington counties, as well as the city of Baltimore, accept EPS for recycling. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have restrictions on EPS items.
Starting in 2016, Washington, D.C. banned EPS products in restaurants and businesses.