Starting on Oct. 1, Maryland instituted a statewide ban on Expanded Polystyrene, which is used in foam food containers in foodservice. This includes foam cups, plates, bowls, trays and to-go containers. After the start date, any food service or school is not allowed to sell or provide food or beverages in these foam containers. Local health or environmental departments will be enforcing these laws.

This ban is essential in protecting marine life. They are among the top 10 most common items collected at beach cleanups.

Foam is almost indestructible and can absorb toxins that marine animals mistakenly ingest, injuring or killing them. Fish dying from consuming these toxins can hurt our local fishermen by resulting in a smaller yield of fish for them.

Luckily, we can easily replace these foam containers with containers that are easily recyclable and able to be broken down. I am very happy to hear this ban has taken place as it will help not only protect our marine environment, but the local fishermen who can have the quickest consequences from foam.