Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Play

A lawsuit over the funding of Pennsylvania schools is in the hands of a judge, California launches a student loan debt challenge, and texts show former President Trump seeking donations after the FBI raid.

Play

Republicans rally around former President Trump after the FBI searches his home for missing archive documents, President Biden formalizes U.S. support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and the FDA expands authorization of the monkeypox vaccine.

Play

People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

Maryland Could Become First State to Ban Foam Food Containers

Play

Friday, March 15, 2019   

BALTIMORE - Maryland soon could become the first state to ban Styrofoam food containers and cups.

A bill passed this week by the House of Delegates prohibits restaurants, supermarkets, vending trucks, movie theaters and schools from providing polystyrene food containers. Even egg cartons would have to be made of alternative materials. The Senate approved its version of the ban a week ago, and violators who insist on using foam plates and trays would face a $250 fine.

Cities such as Baltimore already have banned them, but Adam Lindquist, director of the Baltimore Waterfront Partnership's Healthy Harbor Initiative, said it still wasn't enough.

"We know the Styrofoam containers that end up in the Baltimore Harbor, they just don't come from the city," he said. "Our streams flow across political boundaries - and so, foam can come from all over the place. So really, a statewide ban will have a much bigger impact."

Opponents, such as the Maryland Retailers Association, have claimed that the cost of using alternative packaging is too great, adding that consumers would spend almost $35 million more each year to replace the banned products.

House and Senate negotiators are expected to hammer out differences in the bills before final approval.

The Healthy Harbor Initiative is known for its famous "Trash Wheel family" - Mr. Trash Wheel, Professor Trash Wheel and Capt. Trash Wheel. They use sustainable energy to churn around the harbor and collect floating trash. Lindquist said they'd prefer to put the Trash Wheel family on a diet.

"Since we started this project in 2014, over 1 million foam containers," he said. "It is by far one of the biggest pollutants that we see coming down our waterways, and it's really hard to capture, because it keeps breaking up into smaller and smaller pieces."

According to the group Trash Free Maryland, polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is a major pollution risk for marine life as well as people. Lindquist said the goal is not just to collect trash, but to inspire people to make change - including legislative change to help reduce consumer waste.

The text of House Bill 109 is online here, and the text of Senate Bill 285 is here.


get more stories like this via email

A shortage of affordable housing is seen as one reason for a spike in eviction cases in Virginia. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, the state needs 153,415 affordable rentals for people who are extremely low-income. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

With Virginia's Rent Relief Program ending, a flood of eviction cases has emerged. Established during the pandemic, the program was designed to help …


Environment

As Congress debates a bill to fund climate-change solutions, Pima Community College is doing its own work to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and …

Social Issues

In the first six months of this year, the U.S. saw a significant jump in foreclosure filings, coinciding with concerns about the pressure inflation …


The Federal Trade Commission warns that scammers often pretend to be from the Social Security Administration and ask to "verify people's taxpayer ID" numbers in an effort to steal their identity. (Stockphotopro/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Last year, Americans reported losing a record-breaking $5.8 billion to scams, and now, the State of California and AARP are teaming up to try to …

Social Issues

The state has just launched the California Student Loan Debt Challenge, to let public service employees - like teachers, law enforcement, nurses…

People can wait up to three years to get into affordable housing in Spokane, Wash. (Zach/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Washingtonians are feeling the squeeze from high housing prices, but a novel concept launching in Spokane could speed up the creation of affordable …

Social Issues

More officials from South Dakota's health care community are speaking out in support of Medicaid expansion. Voters will decide this fall whether to …

Social Issues

After eight years, the Pennsylvania school-funding lawsuit is in the hands of the judge, creating a waiting game heading into the new school year…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021