This state is poised to become the first to ban foam food packaging

Maryland's three-year effort built on public opinion that reached a "tipping point." BY LAURA PARKER

MARYLAND IS EXPECTED to become the first U.S. state to ban foam food packaging, takeout containers and cups—and the latest in a growing worldwide effort to ban various disposable single-use plastic products.

The new proposed law passed both of the state’s legislative chambers this week with enough votes to override a potential veto signed by Gov. Larry Hogan, who has not publicly signaled whether he supports the law or not. The law would become the latest in a growing effort worldwide to ban an assortment of disposable, single-use plastic products, due to their impacts on the environment. Hogan reportedly has six days to sign or veto the law.

Prior to the statewide ban effort, Maryland’s two most populous counties—Prince George’s and Montgomery, which both border Washington, D.C.—had already banned foam packaging.

Del. Brooke Lierman (D-Baltimore), who sponsored similar legislation last year and in 2017, says changing public opinion helped her third attempt succeed (it was approved 100-37 in the House of Delegates).

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point,” she says. “People are seeing how ubiquitous single-use plastics are, that they are not recyclable and never going away. People are beginning to understand the importance of living more sustainably.”

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