In light of recent policy making and foam bans throughout the country, some are hoping for Baltimore to follow in their footsteps. Yet other officials are saying that an anti-littering campaign will be more effective because the root of the issue lies at the lack of effort into recycling polystyrene. Below are some facts and figures to help voters make informed decisions about a proposed future Baltimore foam ban:
Foam is not harmful to the environment. In fact, it is 100% recyclable! Though it’s not available for curbside recycling yet, there is a Citizens Convenience Center on Sisson Street where residents can drop off their recyclables.
Foam ends up in the harbor because of littering. Many people simply don’t throw away or recycle their garbage, leading to a disturbing amount of trash floating atop the Inner Harbor. This is why City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young is more in favor of anti-littering advocacy. “Polystyrene isn’t the only thing in the water,” he told the Baltimore Sun. He continues saying that the city “..cannot ban [its] way out of bad habits,” and should instead, change its habits for the better.
Foam is effective. The reason why so many businesses use foam is because of how well it works, from its insulation properties to its cost to the business. Some businesses have found that if they switch to a paper cup, people will double up cups in order to further insulate their coffee.
In addition, paper cups take up almost twice the amount of space in landfills than polystyrene ones. This doubles the amount of waste that we were initially trying to reduce. Additionally, foam is sanitary and inexpensive so that businesses can focus more on the quality of their products than the packaging costs burdening their potential.