Support ban on polystyrene
With the boardwalk, restored wetlands, and kayak launch at the Centreville wharf, town and county residents now have access to some of the features that make our area so special. Yet with expanded access comes additional responsibility to protect those resources. And there is one highly visible area where we are falling down: TRASH.
Organizations like the Corsica River Conser vancy have been leaders in trash cleanups — mark your calendars that this year’s cleanup is scheduled for April 30. The county has instituted resident-supported events under the sponsorship of the County Commissioners and several schools are focusing their educational and community service activities on protecting our waterways. But as one can see by driving on so many of our trashladen roads, cleaning up the end of the trash stream is not enough.
To that end, bills have been introduced in this year’s General Assembly to help at the front end by limiting the use of polystyrene, more commonly known as Styrofoam, in food containers. Styrofoam is one of the most common types of litter across the state. When it blows into our storm drains and rivers, it breaks up into tiny pieces that absorb 10 times more pesticides, fertilizer, and chemicals than other forms of plastic. These toxins are first consumed by marine life and then work their way up the chain. Studies have shown that all of us already have some polystyrene in our systems.
Polystyrene limits have already been successfully implemented in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties where manufacturers and distributers have found sustainable alternatives at comparable costs.
A state-wide effort would increase the health, recreational, and environmental benefits and bring the costs of alternatives down even further. Our legislative representatives — Jay Jacobs, Jefferson Ghrist, Steve Arentz, and Steve Hershey Jr., would do the Queen Anne’s County residents a service in supporting passage of HB229 and SB186. Let them know they have your support.