Response to District 36 Delegation’s ‘guest comment’ on polystryrene ban

In response to the District 36 Delegation’s “guest comment,” I would like to discuss the Styrofoam or polystyrene ban that the “gang of four” is so opposed to. They think that the bill accomplishes “very little” because it only covers a small portion of Styrofoam waste. You decide if this will be a “very little” accomplishment.

The polystyrene containers used in food service are fragile and are NOT easily recycled as there is not a large post-consumer market unlike other forms of Styrofoam and plastic. When the food containers break into small bits and are washed down storm drains or find another way into our waterways, those bits are capable of absorbing chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides at a far faster rate than other plastics. And guess what happens next. Those bits floating in the Bay and rivers resemble food to our local marine life. Once they eat it, the toxins remain in their body. That’s probably not what you thought you were serving for dinner, is it?

The Delegation is worried about the cost of switching over to other types of single use containers—some that can actually be recycled or composted. But they don’t seem to be worried about the millions in taxpayer money that’s spent to clean-up the Styrofoam on the beaches, roadsides and storm drains or the impact on landfills.

Until the bill goes into effect, I would like the Delegation to tell me where I can recycle polystyrene food containers in Centreville? A quick check on the Eastern Shore counties tells me that the only place that actually accepts polystyrene is in Elkton (if they even allow out-of-county residents to use their services) and you can’t just go across the Bridge because not even Anne Arundel accepts it. So much for Delegation’s claim that Styrofoam food containers are better because they can be recycled.

I do want to thank the Delegation though. I had no idea that I could virtue-signal. Is that like a super power or something? I hadn’t realized that I had arrived at elite, either, just because I care about the world I’ll leave to my grandchildren. What will your grandchildren do with all that tax-free money you leave them if they have to live in a bubble in order to survive—buy a bigger bubble?

Deborah Hardy
Democratic Club of Queen Anne’s County

Editor’s Note: You can read the Delegation’s Opinion Piece here

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