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Maryland General Assembly Considers Ban on Styrofoam Food Containers

The Maryland General Assembly is once again considering legislation to ban the use of styrofoam in food containers.

Assembly-members introduced the legislation yesterday, February 1, 2018, where it will be considered by the Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs and Finance; and the House Committee on Environment and Transportation and Economic Matters. Similar legislation last year failed to pass.

The legislation would, if passed, ban the use of certain polystyrene products in: (i) food containers; (ii) plates; (iii) hot and cold beverage cups; (iv) meat and vegetable trays; and (v) egg cartons. It would apply to: (i) restaurants; (ii) fast food-style restaurants; (iii) cafes; (iv) delicatessens; (iv) coffee shops; (v) supermarkets and grocery stores; (vi) food trucks and food carts; and (vii) business and institutional cafeterias.

The ban would affect "blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded foams" that are made from "thermoplastic petrochemical materials"; that utilize a "styrene monomer"; and that are processed with "polymer spheres (expandable bead polystrene) fusion, injection molding, foam molding, [or] extrusion-blow molding" techniques, among others.

Hearing dates will be scheduled shortly.

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