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The Dripby Brew Editors11:44 amJun 17, 20130

Bobbing up tonight at City Council: polystyrene cup ban

Above: Lots of polystyrene – plus plastic bottles – floating ii the Middle Branch. (Fern Shen)

Those polystyrene foam cups and to-go containers that clog Baltimore storm drains and waterways would be banned under a proposal that moves forward in the City Council when it meets today.

Introduced by Councilman James B. Kraft, the bill would prohibit any “food service facility” from using “any disposable food service ware made from polystyrene for the purpose of allowing consumers to take away prepared foods or beverages from its premises.”

The bill, which would fine violators as much as $1,000, was approved by a council committee last week.

Backers say a ban would remove from the local waste stream a material that’s unsightly and long-lasting and promote the use of containers that more quickly decompose. Many cities have banned the foam cups and containers (San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, Somerville and Brookline, Mass.) while others (Portland, New York City) have been considering bans.

Plastics industry and business opponents say the ban will be costly and that foam does not comprise a large share of the waste stream.

Would restaurants just turn to clear plastic clam-shell containers to hold your take-home portions of fettucini and pad thai, if polystyrene foam products were banned? We’ll see how discussion goes when this agenda item comes up tonight.

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