This week Maryland will become the first state in the country to ban styrofoam food containers. Lawmakers passed this last year, worried about polystyrene’s impacts on the environment and Maryland waterways and wildlife. After delays due to COVID-19, the ban takes effect this Thursday.
Some in the industry worry this is hurting restaurants already pushed to the limit during the pandemic. This week all Maryland schools, restaurants and any place serving food is no longer allowed to use polystyrene containers. Those who do face potential fines.
“It just really isn’t the right time to be doing this in the middle of a global pandemic,” Cailey Locklair says.
Locklair is president of the Maryland Retailers Association which fought the ban before it passed last year.
“It absolutely does cost more,” she says for businesses to use alternative products.
The ban was supposed to go into effect on July 1st, but was delayed until October 1st because of the pandemic.