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Ban Would Harm Businesses and Consumers and Increase Environmental Impacts

Today, the American Chemistry Council issued the following statement calling on Governor Larry Hogan to veto the recently passed legislation, MD SB 285 and HB 109, that would harm consumers and businesses in Maryland by banning cost-effective and environmentally preferable polystyrene foam products (this statement is attributable to Omar Terrie, Director, Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group, Plastics Division):

“ACC is committed to ending plastic waste in the environment. In fact, many of our members helped found the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which aims to invest over $1.5 billion to deliver waste management solutions where they are most needed. Experts say up to 60 percent of plastic waste comes from just 5 countries. Although the US accounts for less than 1 percent of trash in the ocean, we are committed to working with communities so that 100 percent of plastic packaging is reused, recycled or recovered.

“Polystyrene foam packaging and containers provide business owners and consumers with a cost-effective and environmentally preferable choice that is ideal for protecting food and preventing food waste, particularly when used for foodservice. Foam packaging is generally more than 90 percent air and has a lighter environmental impact than alternatives.

“A ban on polystyrene foam packaging and containers could lead to increased solid waste, energy use, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, this ban could have negative economic impacts for local business owners, as a study on similar legislation in New York City showed that for every $1.00 spent on foam plastic food ware, restaurants would have to spend nearly $2.00 on alternatives. In an industry with razor sharp profit margins, these costs will negatively impact Maryland restaurateurs and be passed along to hard working Maryland families.

“We strongly oppose this legislation and urge Governor Hogan to protect the interests of Maryland businesses and residents by vetoing it and pursuing policies that will have real, positive impacts on recycling and sustainability across the state.”

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