Agendaitem 9A
January 20, 2015
Action
MEMORANDUM
January 15, 2015
TO:
FROM:
County Council
N~
Josh Hamlin, Legislative
Attome~lJ
Food Service Products -
SUBJECT:
Action:
Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (Trash)
Packaging Materials Requirements
Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee recommendation
(3-0):
enact Bill 41-14 with amendments.
Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (Trash) - Food Service Products
Packaging Materials -
Requirements, sponsored by Councilmember Riemer, then-Council Vice President Leventhal, and
Councilmember Eirich, was introduced on September 9, 2014. A public hearing was held on
October 14, 2014, and a Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee
worksession was held on October 30, 2014.
Bill 41-14 would:
(1)
prohibit the use of certain expanded polystyrene food service products by food
service businesses;
(2)
require the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware by the County,
County contractors or lessees, and food service businesses;
(3)
prohibit the sale of certain expanded polystyrene food service products and
polystyrene loose fill packaging;
(4)
provide for enforcement; and
(5)
generally amend County law regarding environmentally acceptable food service
products and packaging materials.
Background
In 2012, the Council approved Resolution No. 17-522, expressing support for the
elimination of expanded polystyrene foodware in County Government cafeterias and encouraging
other public and private food service facilities to also consider the elimination of the use of
polystyrene foodware (See ©8-9). Expanded polystyrene ("polystyrene foam"), frequently and
inaccurately referred to as Styrofoam®, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company,
1
is commonly used in disposable food containers, both for prepackaged and carry-out prepared
In
a letter dated November 5, 2014, the Dow Chemical Company explained the distinction between Styrofoam®
and the expanded polystyrene foam products that are the subject ofBill 41-14, and requested that Councilmembers
avoid any references to Styrofoam and instead replace those references with the generic polystyrene tenn.
1
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food. This Bill builds upon the Council's action in Resolution 17-522, generally prohibiting
certain uses of polystyrene foam food service products, prohibiting the sale of certain polystyrene
foam products, and requiring the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware.
In
a
September 2 memorandum, Councilmember Riemer briefly discussed the basis for his proposal
(See
©
10). Proponents of reducing or restricting the use of polystyrene foam say that it is harmful
to both the environment and human health.
Environmental Impacts
Advocates for limiting the use of polystyrene foam cite the pervasive presence of the foam
as litter in the marine environment as justification for a ban.
2
A local example of this problem has
been demonstrated by the "trash trap" in the District of Columbia along Nash Run, which flows
into the Anacostia River. According to a 2010 report prepared by the Anacostia Watershed Society
for the District Department of Environment, about 22% of average trash volume collected by the
trap was polystyrene foam.
3
This problem is not merely aesthetic; like other plastics, polystyrene
foam photodegrades, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces, but never really going away.
Fish and other aquatic wildlife often mistake the tiny pieces of foam for food, ingest them, and
suffer hann as a result.
4
Human Health Concerns
Styrene, a main ingredient in making polystyrene foam, is listed as "a reasonable
anticipated human carcinogen" in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's
Report on
Carcinogens, l 2
1
h
Edition
(2011 ). The primary risk is to workers improperly exposed to styrene in
the manufacturing process, with the primary non-occupational exposure through cigarette smoke.
However, styrene may also leach into food from polystyrene containers used for food products,
with the level of migration of styrene to food dependent on a number of factors.
5
In
September of
this year, in light of these health concerns, as well as environmental concerns, several members of
the United States House of Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker John
A.
Boehner,
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Committee on House Administration Chair Candice S.
Miller, requesting reconsideration of the use of polystyrene foam in the House of Representatives
cafeterias (©11-17).
Laws in Other Jurisdictions
The use of polystyrene foam has been restricted or prohibited in many local jurisdictions,
both county and municipal, throughout California and in the Pacific Northwest.
6
Among large
http://www.cleanwater.org/files/publications/ca/cwa
fact
sheet polystyrene litter 20 l l 03.pdf
See pages ix xii
of"Demonstration o/Trash Reduction Technologies in the Anacostia Watershed (Nash Run
Trash Trap Project) Final Technical Report,"
found at:
http://green.dc.gov/sitesldefault/files/dc/sites/ddoe/publication/attachments/Nash Run TT Final Tech Report Enti
re.pdf.
4
http://www.anchoragemuseum.org/images/downloads/gyre/Lesson3 EffectsotMarineDebris.pdf
5
http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/roc/twelfth/profiles/styrene.pdf
6
The cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, and the counties of Marin, Los Angeles, and
Santa Cruz are some of the larger California jurisdictions to implement some form of polystyrene foam ban. Seattle,
Washington, and Portland Oregon have also done so. A list of cities and counties with such bans can be found at:
http://www.groundswell.org/map-which-cities-have-banned-plastic-foam/
3
2
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jurisdictions on the East coast, New York City enacted a ban in 2013,
7
and the District of Columbia
did so inJune of this year.
8
A ban has been considered in Baltimore City, but has not been enacted,
and bans have been or currently are being considered in Philadelphia, Boston, and Chicago.
Current local laws vary in their scope, with some banning the use of polystyrene foam only
for food service, i.e., leftovers and carry-out, while others extend the prohibition to the sale of
certain polystyrene foam products, including plates, cups and packing materials. Many of the local
laws banning certain uses of polystyrene foam also require that
any
disposable food service ware
used for food service businesses, such as plates, cups, utensils, and napkins, be compostable or
recyclable.
Bill 41-14
The. provisions of Bill 41-14 prohibiting the use of certain polystyrene foam food service
products, and requiring the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware, are similar to those
of the recently enacted District of Columbia law, with identically staggered effective dates. This
consistency between neighboring jurisdictions should make it easier for businesses operating in
both jurisdictions to adjust their practices.
Bill 41-14 would prohibit food service businesses (restaurants, grocery stores, institutional
cafeterias, etc.) from using "expanded polystyrene (foam) food service products," such as
containers, plates, cups, trays, egg cartons, effective January 1, 2016. Products packaged outside
the County before receipt by the food service business, and materials used to package raw meat,
seafood, or poultry are exempt from the prohibition.
The Bill would also require the County and County contractors and lessees
to
use
compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware, as those terms are defined in the Bill,
effective 90 days after the Bill becomes law. "Disposable food service ware" is a broader term
. than, and inclusive of, "expanded polystyrene food service products." The requirement to use
compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware would apply to food service businesses
beginning January 1, 2017.
Bill 41-14 would also prohibit the
sale
of polystyrene loose fill packaging, commonly
referred to as "packing peanuts," and expanded polystyrene food service products, effective
January 1, 2016. This provision is similar to provisions of the law in New York City and several
California jurisdictions.
The Executive would be required to publish, and update annually, a list of vendors offering
affordable compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware products. Also, the Executive
would be required to determine whether there is no affordable compostable or recyclable
alternative to particular disposable food service ware items, and list such items on an exemption ·
list. The prohibitions and requirements of the law would not apply to products on the exemption
list. The Department of Environmental Protection would be responsible for enforcement of the
7
http://legistar.council.nyc.govNiew .ashx?M=F&ID=2938756&GU1D=5 A83 7 I 68-3319-450D-8A40-
8
FDF597
A3 ESCC
http:i/lims.dccouncil.us/ layouts/15/uploader/Download.aspx?legislationid=30722&filename=B20-0573-
SignedAct.pdf
(pp.
7-9).
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law. A violation would be a Class B violation, and the County Attorney would be authorized to
seek injunctive relief.
Public Hearing
There were 24 speakers at the public hearing. Dan Locke, Chief of the Division of Solid
Waste Services, testified in support of the Bill on behalf of the Executive (©19). Mr. Locke cited
the value of the Bill's provisions as a compliment to the County's efforts to reduce litter and
pollution in County waterways as required by the County's MS4 permit. Conservation
Montgomery (©20), the Sierra Club of Montgomery County (©21-22), the League of Women
Voters of Montgomery County (©23), and the D.C. Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation (©24) all
testified in support of the Bill. These organizations all expressed the belief that the Bill would
reduce the amount of polystyrene foam pollutants in the County.
The Alice Ferguson Foundation (©25-26), the Rock Creek Conservancy (©27-28),
Neighbors of the Northwest Branch (©29-30), the Anacostia Watershed Society (©31-35), and the
Sugarloaf Citzens' Association (©36) all offered testimony in support of Bill 41-14. These
organizations referenced the threats posed by polystyrene foam to human and environmental
health, and both the Alice Ferguson Foundation and the Anacostia Watershed Society expressed
the view that, like the carryout bag
tax,
this Bill could be a catalyst for behavior change leading to
societal benefit. Molly Hauck also shared her concerns about the polystyrene foam's effects on
human health and the environment, and stated that there are competitively priced recyclable and
compostable alternatives (©37-38).
Three members of the Young Activists Club in Takoma Park spoke in support of the Bill
(©39-43). They asked the Council to consider expanding the Bill's prohibition beyond polystyrene
foam to include rigid polystyrene such as that used in some plastic cups and clear plastic
"clamshell" containers, and requested that the Bill be applicable to MCPS. Nadine Bloch
reiterated the requests of the Young Activists to include rigid polystyrene and MCPS in the Bill's
prohibition (©44). Brenda Platt of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance testified in support,
offering Seattle as an example of a phased approach to moving from polystyrene foam to
recyclable or compostable food service ware (©45-51). Trash Free Maryland and Jennifer
Chambers also supported the Bill, echoing many of the sentiments of other supporters (©52-54).
Bruce Bereano, on behalf of Safeway, indicated support for the Bill if it was amended to exempt
raw and butchered meat, seafood and poultry trays from the Bill's recyclable/compostable
requirement.
9
The Restaurant Association of Maryland opposed the bill as drafted (©55), stating a
particular concern about the cost and performance of alternative compostable or recyclable
disposable food service ware, positing that much of the required compostable ware will still end
up in the regular solid waste stream. However, the Association's members were not as concerned
with the prohibition on the use of polystyrene foam food service products.
10
Dart Container
Corporation, manufacturer of polystyrene foam food service products, opposed the Bill, touting
the efficiency and cost benefits of foam over paper and the recyclability of polystyrene foam (©56-
9
The Bill already exempts these products from the ban on polystyrene foam food service products. See lines 58-69
at04.
10
See video testimony of Melvin Thompson, Restaurant Association of Maryland, at 00:16:30 of the October 14,
2014 public hearing at: htt;p://montgomeiycountvmd.granicus.com!MediaPlayer.php?view id=6&clip id=8079
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63). Dart also offered San Francisco and Carmel, California as examples of jurisdictions where
foam bans did not reduce the volume of litter, but rather changed the type of litter.
11
Environmental Resources Planning, LLC also opposed the Bill, contending that polystyrene foam
food service products make up a small percentage (1.1%) of litter, and that a foam ban will not
resolve litter issues (©64-65). The Maryland Retailers Association opposed Bill 41-14, asserting
that its provisions would increase costs without reducing litter or helping the County achieve its
sustainability goals (©66-67). Bill Kominers also spoke in opposition, questioning whether there
is a legitimate alternative to polystyrene foam packing peanuts.
In
addition to the oral testimony at the public hearing, written testimony was received from
the American Chemistry Council and Lorenzo Bellamy of Alexander and Cleaver, P.A. (©68-72).
Both urged the County to explore recycling polystyrene foam, and the American Chemistry
Council disputed the contentions that polystyrene foam presented a threat to human health.
October 30
T&E
Committee Worksession
The Committee discussed the Bill and made a number of changes.
recommended enactment of the Bill (3-0) with the following amendments:
The Committee
1. Expressly exempt a food service business from the requirement to use compostable or
recyclable disposable food service ware if the Executive determines that there is no suitable
affordable compostable or recyclable product available;
2. Specifically exempt food packaging used for raw/butchered meat, seafood, and poultry from
the compostable/recyclable products requirement, consistent with these products already
being exempt from the expanded polystyrene ban;
3. Require the Executive to conduct an "education and outreach" program both before and
during the implementation of all phases of the law;
4. Delete language creating a private cause of action by allowing an "affected party" to seek
injunctive relief; and
5. Change the effective date of the requirement that a County agency, department, contractor or
lessee use recyclable or compostable disposable food service ware from 90 days after the Act
becomes law to January 1, 2016.
As amended by the Committee, the Bill's effective dates would be:
1. A food service business must not use expanded polystyrene food service products, effective
January 1, 2016;
2. A person must not sell expanded polystyrene food service products or packaging materials,
effective January 1, 2016;
3. A County agency, contractor, or lessee must use compostable or recyclable food service
ware, effective January 1, 2016 (but may exhaust supplies purchased before that date until
January 1, 2017); and
4. A food service business must use compostable or recyclable food service ware, effective
January 1, 2017.
Note however that San Francisco's 2008 litter audit, conducted one year after the City enacted its polystyrene
foam ban, showed a 36% decrease
in
polystyrene foam
litter. The 2008 audit can be accessed at:
http://www. waterboards .ca.gov/rwqcb2/water issues/programs/stormwater/MRP/02-
2012/Comments/Dart/Staff Exhibits. pdf
ll
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Issues/Committee Recommendations
1.
What are the alternatives to polystyrene foam food service and packing products?
A threshold question to considering a prohibition on the use of polystyrene foam is "what
are the alternatives?" The demand for food packaging alternatives to foam has been growing at
least since the 1990s, when McDonald's phased out the use of foam clamshells for its
sandwiches.
12
A number of restaurants have already moved away from using foam food packaging
products, and McDonald's, as well as Dunkin' Donuts, have both recently committed to phasing
out their use of foam cups.
13
Over the past 15 years, dozens of local jurisdictions have passed
restrictions on the use of polystyrene foam.
14
With this growing demand, there is now a fairly
robust market of polystyrene foam alternatives,
15
from paper
16
to polylactic acid
17
to mushroom-
based foam products.
18
The Green Restaurant Association is a reference resource for these
products.
19
San Francisco, whose ban on polystyrene foam food packaging took effect in 2007,
has published a list of vendors of compostable and recyclable food service ware (©73-74). Also,
San Jose, California, which enacted a polystyrene foam ban in 2013, has published a fairly
extensive list of alternative food packaging products, sorted by product category with vendor and
cost information (©75-88). Bill 41-14 requires the Executive to publish a similar list of vendors,
and update it annually for at least five years after it is first published.
There are also several alternatives to polystyrene foam packing peanuts.
In
addition to
sealed air packing materials which are widely used by online retailers such as Amazon.com,
20
there
are packing peanuts available that are plant-
21
and starch-based and biodegradable.
22
U-haul sells
a number of recyclable or biodegradable packing supplies on its. website, including packing
peanuts
23
and paper-based expandable packing material.
24
2.
Is recycling expanded polystyrene a viable alternative to a ban?
In its testimony at the public hearing, Dart Container Corporation suggested that recycling
polystyrene foam would
be
an alternative to banning it. Dart claimed that the foam is "100%
recyclable" into pellets used for durable plastic products such as building insulation, plastic
lumber, and picture frames. Dart cited Sacramento and Los Angeles, California as examples of
municipal curbside collection of polystyrene foam, and said
that
the company is working to
establish other such programs.
12
http://www.nytimes.com/l 990/11/02/business/packaging-and-public-image-mcdonald-s-fills-a-big-order.html
McDonald's competitors Burger King and Wendy's had already stopped using foam clamshells by this time.
13
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-17 /dunkin-donuts-tests-recyclable-cups-as-foam-loses-favor.html
14
See footnote 5.
15
http://www.sustainablefoodservice.com/cat/biodegradable-foodservice-products.htm
16
http://www.fold-pak.com/sustainability/sustainablepackagingsolutions.btm
17
http://www.plasticingenuity.com/green-ingenuity/pla-materials/
18
http://www.ecovativedesign.com/
19
http://www.dinegreen.com/restaurants/endorsed prods.asp
20
http://www.sealedairorotects.com/N NEN/ sustainability/recvcle inflate.aspx
21
http://puffystufftn.com/about.htm1
22
http://www.starcbtech.com/biodegradable-packing-peanuts.html
23
http://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Protective-stuff/Biodegradable-Packing-Peanuts?id=730
24
http://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Protective-stuff!ExpandOS-High-Performance·Packing-
Material?id= I 5962
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The question of the recyclability of polystyrene foam arises each time a jurisdiction
considers a ban. When the question arises, so too does a discussion of the problems associated
with a foam recycling program (See ©89). The first challenge is the low density of the material,
which makes shipping it quite inefficient. The limited market for polystyrene foam also presents
a problem, as the lack of a stable market makes investment in establishing a program somewhat
risky. There would be a cost involved in setting up a drop-off foam recycling program in the
County, as accepting the foam would require an attendant, and staff understands that there is
currently no space at the transfer facility to accommodate such a program. Curbside pickup is
often not considered feasible because of both the cost and the tendency for foam products to break
up and blow away - both related to the low density of the product. Also, even in jurisdictions that
provide curbside pickup for foam recycling, few accept packing peanuts.
25
Perhaps the most vexing problem encountered in recycling polystyrene foam food
packaging is food contamination.
It
is not evident what amount of "contamination" renders foam
unrecyclable, but in other jurisdictions that have looked at the issue, contamination has been a
substantial problem.
In
Los Angeles County, California, "a survey of waste haulers and material
recovery facilities (MRFs) found that the overwhelming majority of haulers and facilities do not
accept EPS food containers from curbside recycling" (See ©90-97). When San Jose was
considering its ban in 2011, City staff research found that of 32 California jurisdictions that had
implemented curbside collection of polystyrene foam for recycling, 15 were collecting polystyrene
foam food packaging but were sending it
to
the landfill, and eight had discontinued the collection
due to contamination issues. As of 2011, only seven of the 32 were actively collecting the foam
for recycling (©98-100).
The New York City ban was conditioned on whether or not it was feasible for the city to
recycle polystyrene foam. The law required the Sanitation Commissioner
to
determine "whether
EPS [polystyrene foam] single service articles can be recycled at the designated recycling
processing facility at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in a manner that is environmentally
effective, economically feasible, and safe for employees."
If
polystyrene foam was determined
not to be recyclable, the ban would take effect on July 1, 2015. On January 8, 2015, Mayor Bill
De Blasio announced that the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) determined that polystyrene foam
"cannot be recycled." DSNY also determined that there currently is no market for post-consumer
EPS collected in a curbside metal, glass, and plastic recycling program. See ©144. These
determinations mean that the New York City ban, which prohibits food service establishments,
stores and manufacturers from possessing, selling, or offering for use single service polystyrene
foam articles or polystyrene loose fill packaging, such as "packing peanuts" will take effect.
3.
Will "compostable" disposable food
service
ware required by the Bill be composted,
or will it still end up in the trash?
The Restaurant Association of Maryland expressed concern at the public hearing regarding
the Bill's requirement that all disposable food service ware be recyclable or compostable by
January 1, 2017. By suggesting that even compostable or recyclable products would end up in a
landfill, the issue was framed as the imposition of an expense on food service businesses that
would not produce a corresponding social benefit.
In
the absence of an existing County
composting program, this suggestion is a valid concern. It must also be considered that in common
25
http://www.earth911.com/recycling-guide/how-to-recycle-packing-peanuts/
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anaerobic landfills, even biodegradable or compostable items do not break down due to lack of the
oxygen and microorganisms necessary for degradation or decomposition.
The question is really one of timing. The County's approved Comprehensive Solid Waste
Plan includes as part of its summary plan of action to "examine the feasibility of targeting
additional materials types for recycling including food waste generated at restaurants, schools and
institutions." (©101-102) Prince George's County
27
and Howard County,
28
as well as Takoma
Park,
29
are currently piloting food waste composting programs, and the District of Columbia
recently passed a polystyrene ban that includes a compostable/recyclable mandate. These
developments may create momentum to begin a regional food waste composting program.
Requiring disposable food service ware to be compostable or recyclable facilitate this action item
by removing non-compostable disposable food service ware as a potential contaminant of
compostable food waste. Facilities such as Jepson Prairie Organics
30
and Cedar Grove
31
in
Washington are examples of composting facilities that compost food service ware. Location of a
facility in the densely populated Mid-Atlantic region may prove challenging, however; Peninsula
Compost LLC's Wilmington Organics composting facility was recently ordered to shut down due
to odor problems.
32
26
The Committee discussed the Section 48-54 exemption from the required use of
compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware when "the Executive determines that there
is no suitable affordable compostable or recyclable product available ..." The Committee noted that
this exemption was expressly applicable to a County facility, agency or department (Section 48-
54(a)), and a County contractor or lessee (Section 48-54(b)), but the Bill was not clear as to whether
the exemption applied to a food service business. The Committee recommended clearly stating that
such an exemption does apply to a food service business.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
Amend Section 48-54 to expressly state that a food service
business providing food or beverages for consumption on or off premises in disposable food
service ware must use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware
unless the Executive
determines that there is no suitable affordable compostable or recyclable product available.
(See
lines 72-75 at© 4).
4.
Should the Bill's prohibitions include rigid polystyrene food service products?
There were requests at the public hearing from members of the Young Activists Club, and
from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, to expand the Bill's prohibition to rigid polystyrene
products in addition to polystyrene foam. Such an expansion would then cover many of the plastic
http://www.montgomerycountvmd.gov/sws/programs/solid-waste-plan.html
http://www.menv.com/blog/prince-georges-county-mes-cut-ribbon-on-new-food-scrap-composting-project-at-
western-branch-yard-waste-composting-facility/
28
http://www.howardcountymd.gov/foodscraps.htm
29
http://www. takomaparkmd. gov/publicworks/food-waste-co
J
lection
30
http://www.jepsonprairieorganics.com/index.htm
31
http://cedar-grove.com/
32
http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/20
J4/
I 0/21/odor-plagued-compost-plant-ordered-
shut/J 7674401/
27
26
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cups and clear plastic clamshell containers.
33
While rigid polystyrene is not covered by the Bill's
prohibition on expanded polystyrene food service products, it is not currently recycled "using
recycling collection programs provided in the County,"
34
and is not compostable. Thus, the use
of rigid polystyrene disposable food service ware by the County, County contractors and lessees,
and food service businesses would not be permitted under the Bill's requirement that disposable
food service ware be compostable or recyclable. This requirement in the Bill as drafted took effect
90 days after the Bill becomes law for County agencies, departments, contractors and lessees
35
and
January 1, 2017 for food service businesses. The Committee approved an amendment to the Bill
changing the effective date for the County and County contractors and lessees to January 1, 2016.
A number of the issues associated with recycling polystyrene foam, such as foam's low
density and vulnerability to contamination, are less problematic with rigid polystyrene, increasing
the probability that it may at some point become feasible to recycle in the County. Because of this
possibility, and the practical impact of the Bill's requirement that compostable or recyclable
disposable food service ware must be used exclusively, effective no later than January 1, 2017,
staff does not recommend amending Bill 41-14 to expressly prohibit the use of rigid polystyrene.
5.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
A common refrain among the Bill's opponents, and opponents to similar laws elsewhere,
is that polystyrene foam is the most cost effective means of packaging certain food products, and
that it would be too much of a burden on businesses to switch to alternative packaging. The
Executive's fiscal and economic impact statement (FEIS) (see ©103-108) seems to support the
assertion that the cost would be substantial. The FEIS includes an estimate that the enactment of
Bill 41-14 would result in: 1) Approximately $219,000 in additional annual County expenses
(MCPS: $60,000, HHS: $159,000; 2) $75,000 per year plus a one-time $40,000 vehicle expense,
or a reduction of 800 HHS inspections per year, depending on which agency took enforcement
responsibility, for dedicated enforcement3
6;
and 3) $16.2 million in lost profits for County
restaurants.
The Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) reviewed the FEIS, focusing on the estimate of
$16.2 million in lost restaurant profits (©109-112). OLO identified four key variables that if
changed based on reasonable assumptions could dramatically affect the estimate, with the range
of possible estimates going as low as about $2 million. Additionally OLO noted that in several
jurisdictions in which polystyrene bans have been imposed, additional costs on businesses can be
mitigated through the establishment of purchasing co-ops to bring businesses together and achieve
economies of scale. The District of Columbia is considering the establishment of such a co-op
which, should Bill 41-14 be enacted, could possibly
be
expanded to include County food service
businesses. When considering implementing its own polystyrene foam ban in 2012, San Jose,
Not all plastic cups and food containers would be covered; there are plastic cups and clear plastic clamshell
containers made from PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and from polypropylene which are already recyclable and
recycled in the County recycling program.
34
http://m.montgomerycountymd.gov/sws/how/plastics.html
35
But note that
"a County facility, agency, department, contractor, or lessee may use disposable food service ware
already purchased as of the effective date of this Act until the supplies are exhausted or until January 1, 2017,
whichever is earlier, including disposable food service ware that the County facilitY, agency, department, contractor
or lessee is obligated to purchase under any contracts in force on the effective date of this Act." Lines 107-113 at
©5-6.
36
33
The FEIS indicated that there
w~mld
be
no additional personnel cost if enforcement is complaint driven.
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California commissioned a comprehensive economic impact study which includes observations
consistent with those of OLO. The San Jose study included a great deal of information about the
potential impacts of a ban, which though geographically focused toward the Bay Area in
California, is pertinent to the consideration of Bill 41-14. The Introduction and Findings of the
study are at ©113-116.
37
Bill 41-14 also provides for the creation of an "exemption list" by the Executive. This list
would include disposable food service ware products for which the Executive determines there is
no affordable compostable or recyclable alternative, and would be updated annually. While the
term "affordable" is currently not defined in the Bill, it could
be
defined relative to the purchase
cost of a non-compostable, non-recyclable alternative.
38
Additionally, Chapter 48 includes a more
general hardship waiver provision at Section 48-3(b), which provides that "the Director may waive
any requirement of this Chapter when: (1) practical difficulties, undue hardships or other good
cause prevents any person from carrying out this Chapter; and (2) the waiver is not contrary to the
spirit and intent of this Chapter and other applicable law, and does not materially impair the public
welfare and safety."
6.
How would the Bill be enforced?
As drafted, Bill 41-14 does not specify whether its provisions would be enforced on an
inspection- or complaint-driven basis. The FEIS indicates a cost for inspection-driven
enforcement of either $75,000 per year plus a one-time $40,000 vehicle expense or 800 fewer HHS
inspections per year, depending on whether DEP or HHS is the lead enforcement agency.
Alternatively, according to the FEIS there would
be
no additional cost for complaint-driven
enforcement. The Bill's enforcement provisions are similar to those in Section 48-49, which
provides for enforcement of the Recycling Article. Section 48-3 establishes that the Director of
DEP must administer the Chapter. In his testimony on behalf of the Executive, Solid Waste
Services Division Chief Dan Locke suggested that enforcement would be on a complaint-driven
basis with DEP as the lead agency, which is consistent with the provisions of the Bill and existing
law.
Section 48-58, lines 108-112 at ©5-6, includes a provision authorizing the County Attorney
or any affected party to seek irtjunctive relief for repeated violations in a court
with
jurisdiction.
Because the County does not have the authority to create a private cause of action, this Section
should be amended to limit the authorization to seek injunctive relief to the County Attorney.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
Amend lines 111-112 at ©6 as follows:
®.
The County Attorney [[or any
affected~]]
may file an action
in~
court with
jurisdiction to enjoin repeated violations of the Section.
37
The full San Jose Economic Impact Analysis can be found at:
http://www3.sanjoseca.gov/clerk/CommitteeAgenda/TE/2012l203rfE20121203 d5attC .pdf
38
For example, San Francisco's Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance defines "affordable" as "purchasable for
not more than 15 percent more than the non-biodegradable, non-compostable, or non-recyclable altemative(s)."
10
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7.
Education and Outreach
The Committee discussed the need for the education of businesses and consumers about
the law to ensure compliance, and recommended the inclusion of "education and outreach"
provisions.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
Require the Executive to conduct an education and outreach
campaign about the law before and during implementation of the law (see lines 80-89 at ©4-5).
8.
Riemer Committee Amendments.
Councilmember Riemer introduced an amendment (©117) to provide that the exemption
for materials used to package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish, poultry, or seafood for off-
premises consumption applies to the Bill's requirement for the use of compostable or recyclable
disposable food service ware. The ·Bill, as drafted, exempts these materials from the ban on
expanded polystyrene food service products. This amendment would make the Bill internally
consistent, as it is inconsistent to allow a food service business to use an expanded polystyrene
product for a specific purpose in one section, and then effectively prohibit such use for the same
purpose in another section.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
Approve Riemer Amendment 1 (see lines 78-79 at
©4).
Councilmember Riemer also introduced an amendment(© 118) to change the effective date
of the requirement that a County agency, department, contractor or lessee use recyclable or
compostable disposable food service ware from 90 days after the Act becomes law to January
1,
2016.
Committee recommendation (3-0):
Approve Riemer Amendment 2 (see line 121 at ©6).
Litter survey received since Committee worksession
On January 7, 2015, the Council received a copy of the "2014 Anacostia Watershed Litter
Survey" (the Survey), commissioned by Dart Container Corporation and prepared
by
Environmental Resources Planning, LLC. The Survey is an evaluation of litter collected at 96
sites within the Anacostia Watershed in the District of Columbia and Montgomery and Prince
George's Counties. Of the 96 sites evaluated, 12 were in Montgomery County.
39
Nine of the sites
in the County were along roadway, and three were "non-roadway" sites located adjacent to
indicator streams or trash traps monitored by the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS). None of
the sites were within the waterways. Litter collected in the Survey was classified as "large litter"
(four inches or larger) and "small litter" (smaller than four inches). The executive summary, the
Montgomery County-specific portions, and list of sites in the Survey are at© 119-141.
There are a number oflimitations on the application of the Survey to the County. First, the
number of County sites is so small as to make it extremely risky to draw conclusions from the
Survey's findings.
In
a County with an area of 507 square miles, 12 sites with an "optimal size"
of 300 feet by 18 feet is simply insufficient to support conclusions about Countywide litter. Also,
39
72 of the sites were in the District of Columbia, and 12 were in Prince George's County.
11
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none of the Survey's sites include waterways; they are either roadway or non-roadway
land
area.
A particularly troubling aspect of polystyrene foam is its persistence as a marine pollutant.
Without any evaluation of the presence of polystyrene foam in the marine environment in the
Survey, it is difficult to make a judgment as to the extent of the problem. Finally, some of the
County data in the Survey supports the proposition that polystyrene foam litter is a problem in the
County. The Survey reflects that 15.6% of the small litter found on non-roadway sites in the
County was polystyrene foam packing peanuts, and another 4.4% of the small litter was
polystyrene foam food packaging. See
~126.
Using that data, 20% of the small litter on non-
roadway sites in the County would be directly impacted by the provisions of Bill 41-14.
The Anacostia Watershed Society submitted a letter in response to the Survey, in which
it
asserts that the Survey has "little relevance to the issues before the council regarding Bill 41-14..
." AWS believes that the fact that the Survey did not examine litter found
in
streams and rivers
limits its relevance, as does the methodology of the Survey. The Survey examines the number of
pieces oflitter collected at the sites, while AWS asserts that, because of the bulky, lightweight and
floatable nature of polystyrene foam, a volume analysis is more important
than
a count.
In
contrast
to the Survey' s counts, the letter references the results at the Nash Run trash trap discussed above.
40
This packet contains:
Bill 41-14
Legislative Request Report
Resolution No. 17-522
Councilmember Riemer Memo
House of Representatives Letter
List showing applicability to municipalities
Testimony
Dan Locke
Conservation Montgomery
Sierra Club
League of Women Voters
Surfrider Foundation
Alice Ferguson Foundation
Rock Creek Conservancy
Neighbors of the Northwest Branch
Anacostia Watershed Society
Sugarloaf Citizens' Association
Molly Hauck
Margot Bloch
Anna Brookes
Leo Blain
Nadine Bloch
Institute for Local Self Reliance
Trash Free Maryland
40
Circle#
1
7
8
10
11
18
19
20
21
23
24
25
27
29
31
36
37
39
41
43
44
45
52
"The average amount of expanded Polystyrene is 18 percent of the trash removed by the trash trap (28 percent last
November and as high as 37 percent
in
December 2011). Almost all plastic foam items found
in
the stream are
cups, plates, and clamshells related to food and beverage service."
12
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Jennifer Chambers
Restaurant Association of Maryland
Dart Container Corporation
Environmental Resources Planning, LLC
Maryland Retailers Association
Lorenzo Bellamy, Alexander and Cleaver
American Chemistry Council
San Francisco Vendor List
San Jose Alternative Product List
Challenges to Recycling Polystyrene Foam, Portland, ME
Los Angeles County DPW Memo (partial) 09/2112010
City of San Jose Memo (partial)-01/03/2012
Comprehensive Solid Waste Plan Table 5.1
Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
OLO FEIS Review ·
San Jose Econ. Impact Analysis Intro and Findings
Riemer Amendment
RiemerAmendment2
2014 Anacostia Watershed Litter Survey (excerpts)
Anacostia Watershed Society Letter
New York City press release, January 8, 2015
F:\LAW\BILLS\1441 Disposable Food Service Products\Action Memo.Docx
54
55
56
64
66
68
70
73
75
89
90
98
101
103
109
113
117
118
119
142
144
13
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Bill No.
41-14
Concerning: Solid Waste (Trash) - Food
Service Products -
Packaaina
Materials - Requirements
Revised: October 30. 2014 Draft No.§
Introduced:
September 9. 2014
Expires:
March 9. 2016
Enacted: - - - - - - - - - -
Executive: - - - - - - - - -
Effective: - - - - - - - - -
Sunset Date: _N...,,o=n=e_ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _, Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmember Riemer, Council Vice President Leventhal and Councilmember Eirich
AN ACT
to:
(1)
prohibit the use of certain expanded polystyrene food service products by food service
businesses;
(2) require the use of compostable or recyclable food service ware by the County, County
contractors or lessees, and food service businesses;
(3)
prohibit the sale of certain expanded polystyrene food service products and polystyrene
loose fill packaging;
(4)
provide for enforcement; and
(5)
generally amend County law regarding environmentally acceptable food service
products and packaging materials.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 48, Solid Waste (Trash)
Article VI, Disposable Food Service Products and Packaging Materials
Sections 48-52, 48-53, 48-54, 48-55, 48-56, 48-57, and 48-58
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law
by
original
bill.
Deletedfrom existing law
by
original
bill.
Added
by
amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill
by
amendment.
Existing law unqffected
by
bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL No. 41-14
1
2
3
Sec.
1.
Article VI (Sections 48-52, 48-53, 48-54, 48-55, 48-56, 48-57, and
48-58) of Chapter 48 is added as follows:
ARTICLE VI. Disposable Food Service Products and Packaging Materials.
48-52. Definitions.
4
5
6
In this Article, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
ASTM standard
means the American Society for Testing and Materials
7
8
(ASTM) International Standards D6400 or D6868 for biodegradable and
compostable plastics.
ASTM standard bioplastic
means
_g
plastic like product that meets the AS1M
9
1O
11
12
13
14
standard.
Compostable
means material that will break down into, or otherwise become
part
Qb.
usable
compost~
soil-conditioning material, mulch)
in~
safe and
/'
timely manner in an appropriate composting program or facility, or in
_g
home
compost pile or device. Compostable disposable food service ware includes
ASTM standard bioplastics that are clearly labeled, preferably with
_g
color
symbol, such that any compost collector and processor can easily distinguish
the compostable AS1M standard bioplastic from non-AS1M standard plastic.
Disposable food se-rvice ware
means containers, bowls, plates, trays, cartons,
15
16
17
18
19
cups, lids, straws, forks, spoons, knives, napkins, and other items that are
designed for one-time use for beverages, prepared food, or leftovers from
meals prepared
.Qy
~food
service business. The term "disposable food service
ware" does not include items composed entirely of aluminum.
&panded polystyrene
means blown polystyrene and expanded and extruded
20
21
22
23
24
25
foams that are thermoplastic petrochemical materials utilizing
monomer and processed
.Qy
~
~
styrene
number of techniques, including fusion of
26
27
polymer spheres (expandable bead polystyrene), injection molding, foam
molding, and extrusion-blow molding (extruded foam polystyrene).
W
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BILL
No. 41-14
28
Expanded polystyrene.food service products
means food containers, plates, hot
and cold beverage cups, meat and vegetable trays,
~
29
30
31
32
cartons, and other
products made of expanded polystyrene and used for selling, providing, or
serving food that are:
ill
ill
intended
:Qy
the manufacturer to be used once for eating or
drinking; or
generally recognized
Qy:
the public as items to be discarded after
one use.
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
Food service business
means !! full-service restaurant, limited-service
restaurant, fast food restaurant, cafe, delicatessen, coffee shop, supermarket,
grocery store, vending truck or cart, food truck, business or institutional
cafeteria, including those operated
Qy:
or on behalf of County departments and
agencies, and other business selling or providing food within the County for
consumption on or off the premises.
Polystyrene loose fJJlpackaging
means
~void-filling
packaging product made
43
44
45
46
of expanded polystyrene that is used as packaging fill. Polystyrene loose fill
packaging is commonly referred to as packing peanuts.
Recyclable
means material that can be sorted, cleansed, and reconstituted in!!
cost-effective manner using recycling collection programs provided in the
County for the purpose of using the altered form in the manufacture
product.
of~
47
48
new
Recycling does not include burning, incinerating, converting or
49
50
51
otherwise thermally destroying solid waste.
48-53. Prohibition
Q!!.
~
of expanded polystyrene food senice products.
{])
A food service business must not sell or provide food in expanded
polystyrene food service products, regardless of where the food will be
consumed.
52
53
54
ili}
Subsection
{fil
does not
.ru;mly
to:
d)
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disposable
food
service
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6.doc
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BILLN0.41-14
55
56
ill
food or beverages that were filled and sealed in expanded
polystyrene containers outside of the County before
£!
food
service business received them; or
57
58
ill
materials used to package raw, uncooked, or butchered meat, fish,
poultry, or seafood for off- premises consumption.
59
60
61
62
63
64
48-54. Compostable or recyclable disposable food
(fil
service~
required.
A County facility, agency, or department using disposable food service
ware must use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware
unless the Executive determines that there is no suitable affordable
compostable or recyclable product available in accordance with Section
48-57.
65
66
67
®
A County contractor or lessee using disposable food service ware must
use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware unless the
Executive determmes that there is no suitable affordable compostable or
recyclable product available in accordance with Section 48-57.
68
69
70
(£}
A food service business selling or providing food or beverages for
consumption on or off premises in disposable food service ware must
use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware unless the
Executive determines that there is no suitable affordable compostable or
recyclable product available in accordance with Section 48-57.[[;.
provided, that this]] This subsection does not
mm1J:
ill;,
71
72
73
74
75
76
ill
prepackaged food or beverages that were filled and sealed outside
of the County before
£!
food service business received them; or
77
78
79
80
81
ill
materials used to package raw. uncooked. or butchered meat. fish,
poultry. or seafood for off-premises consumption.
48-55. Education and outreach; [[Recyclable]] recyclable and compostable food
service
!!.!.!:£
list.
0
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BILL No. 41-14
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
£ru
Education and outreach.
The Executive must conduct an education
and outreach campaign before and during implementailim_of the
provisions of this Article. This campaign should include:
LU
Ql
informational mailers to and direct contact. with
aff~
businesses: and
distribution of information through County internet and web-
based resources: and
ill
(lU
news releases and news events.
No later than 180 days after the effective date of this Act, the Executive
must publish
~
list of vendors offering affordable compostable or
recyclable disposable food service ware nroducts. The Executive must
review and update this list annually for at
least~
years after it is first
published.
48-56. Prohibition on sale.
A person must not sell or offer for sale in the County:
.(ru
expanded polystyrene food service products; or
polystyrene loose fill packaging.
{hl
48-57. Exemptions.
If
the Executive determines that there is no available affordable compostable
or recyclable alternative to
~
disposable food service ware item, this item must be
listed on an exemption list and made available to the public. Sections 48-53 and 48-
54 do not
gpp1y
to
~
disposable food service ware item on the exemption list or for ·
the first
.Q
months after an item is removed from the list. The Executive must review
and update the exemption list annually to determine whether any items should be
removed because an affordable compostable or recyclable alternative has become
available.
48-58. Enforcement.
®
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disposable
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service products\bill 6.doc
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BILL No. 41-14
109
11 O
111
112
113
114
115
lli)
Any violation of this Article is
~
class B civil violation. Each day
!!
violation exists is
!!
separate offense.
(Q}
The County Attorney
[[m:
any affected
Im:[ty)]
may file an action in
!!
court with jurisdiction to enjoin repeated violations of the Section.
Sec. 2. Effective date.
(a)
The prohibition on use of expanded polystyrene food service products
contained in Section 48-53 and the prohibition on the sale of expanded
polystyrene food service products and polystyrene loose fill packaging
contained in Section 48-56 take effect on January 1, 2016.
116
117
118
119
120
121
(b)
The requirement for a County facility, agency, department, contractor,
or lessee to use compostable or recyclable disposable food service ware
established by Subsections 48-54 (a) and (b) takes effect [[90 days after
this Act becomes law]] on January
I.
2016. Notwithstanding any other
provision, a County facility, agency, department, contractor, or lessee
may use disposable food service ware already purchased as of the
effective date of this Act until the supplies are exhausted or until
January 1, 2017, whichever is earlier, including disposable food service
ware that the County facility, agency, department, contractor or lessee is
obligated to purchase under any contracts in force on the effective date
of this Act.
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
(c)
The requirement to use composqi.ble or recyclable disposable food
service ware established by Subsection 48-54(c) takes effect on January
1,2017.
130
131
®
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 41-14
Solid Waste (I'rash)-Food Service Products Packaging Materials
DESCRIPTION:
Requirements
This bill would
•Prohibit the use of certain polystyrene foam food service products
by food service businesses beginning on January 1, 2016.
• Prohibit the sale of foam loose fill packaging (packing peanuts) and
bulk foam food service products (i.e., bulk foam cups and plates)
beginning on January 1, 2016.
• Require the use of compostable or recyclable food service products
by the County, and County Contractors and lessees 90 days after the
Act becomes law, and by food service businesses beginning on
January 1, 2017.
Polystyrene foam is a pervasive source of litter, both on land and in
marine environments, and has been classified as "reasonably
anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
To reduce the negative environmental and human health effects of
polystyrene foam by reducing its use in the County.
Department of Environmental Protection
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Josh Hamlin, Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Civil penalties and injunctive relief.
f:\law\bills\ 1441 disposable food service products\lrr.doc
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Resolution No.: 17-522
-------
Introduced:
July 17, 2012
Adopted:
July 31, 2012
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
By: Councilmember Leventhal
SUBJECT:
Elimination of the Use of Polystyrene Plates, Cups. and other Foodware
in
County Government Cafeterias
Background
1.
Polystyrene is a petroleum-derived plastic-like material used for packaging. The foam
form, known as expanded polystyrene (EPS), is commonly used to make disposable
plates, cups, bowls and other items.
Approximately l million tons of polystyrene plates, cups, and other foodware are
disposed of in the United States every year.
While potentially recyclable as a
#6
plastic, polystyrene is not commonly recycled
because of food contamination concerns and because polystyrene's high volwne to
weight ratio complicates transport of the material. The Environmental Protection Agency
estimates that less than one percent of all polystyrene produced in the United States is
recycled.
Montgomery County's Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Solid
Waste, does not recycle polystyrene because of the lack of stable regional markets for the
product and because of the complications noted in Paragraph 3.
Environmentally friendly alternatives to the use of polystyrene are available, such as:
reusable equipment (trays, cups, and silverware) and the use of paper and other products
made from recycled content and which are also compostable, biodegradable and/or
recyclable.
County residents, businesses, and government all need to be good stewards of the
environment. County Government should lead by example with environmental initiatives
to affirm the County's commitment to reduce its environmental footprint and to show that
viable environmentally-friendly options are available and should
be
pursued whenever
possible.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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Page 2
7.
Resolution No.: 17-522
The County's Department of General Services has successfully worked with its food
service contractors to eliminate the use of polystyrene at
its.
cafeteria sites. These sites
are now using recycled paper products for food containers and plates and using clear
plastic products for certain wet food items.
Action
The County Council for Montgomery County Maryland approves the following
resolution:
The Council supports the elimination of polystyrene foodware in County
Government cafeterias and encourages other public and private food service facilities to
also consider the elimination of the use of polystyrene foodware.
This is a correct copy of Council action.
Lmda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL
Rockville, Maryland
Councilmember Hans Riemer
At
Large
MEMORANDUM
To:
From:
Re:
Date:
Council members
Councilmember Hans Riemer
Banning Expanded Polystyrene in Montgomery County
September 2, 2014
Colleagues, on September
9, I
am introducing a bill that that would ban the use and sale of
certain forms of expanded polystyrene (sometimes called "Styrofoam," although Styrofoam is
just one brand of expanded foam) in the County.
I
ask for your co-sponsorship and support.
With this ban, Montgomery County would join a growing list of other communities that have
taken action to ban expanded polystyrene, including Washington DC, San Francisco, Seattle, and
New York City.
My bill closely tracks legislation passed in Washington, DC, and signed by Mayor Gray in July,
2014. Our implementation timeline would match Washington's, allowing for a smoother
regional effort to raise awareness as well as helping to strengthen the local market for
alternative products.
Specifically, the bill includes the following key provisions:
Prohibits the use of foam food service products by food service businesses beginning on
January 1, 2016.
Prohibits the sale of foam loose
fill
packaging (packing peanuts) and bulk foam food
service products (bulk foam cups and plates) beginning on January 1, 2016.
Requires the use of compostable or recyclable food service products by the County,
County Contractors, and food service businesses beginning on January
1,
2017.
This is important because foam, which is a petroleum-based plastic, is a meaningful share of the
litter and pollution found in our watersheds. Over time, discarded foam breaks down into small
pieces, but it does not completely dissolve and it is very hard to clean up. When it is ingested by
marine life, it causes harm. For human health, the National Research Council has recently
1
"upheld the listing of styrene as 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."'
Fortunately, there are reasonable alternatives to expanded foam.
1
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordlD=l8725
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FRED UPTON, MICHIGAN
CHAIRMAN
HENRY A. WAXMAN, CALIFORNIA
RANKING MEMBER
ONE HUNDRED THIRTEENTH CONGRESS
C!ongrcss of tbc mtnittll
~tates
~om.1e
2125
of li\epre5'entatibe5'
House
OFFICE
COMMITIEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
RAYBURN
Bu1Lo1NG
WASHINGTON,
DC 20515-6115
Majority (202i 225-2927
Minority (202l 225-3641
September 11, 2014
The Honorable John A. Boehner
Speaker of the House
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-329 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
Chairman
Committee on House Administration
1309 Longworth. House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader McCarthy, and Chairman Miller:
Since our last letter in 2011, we remain concerned about the potential health and
environmental effects of your current choice to use polystyrene foam products in the House of
Representatives cafeterias. Two recent developments illustrate the hazards posed by these
materials and highlight that action to remove them from our cafeterias is long overdue. On July
28, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its Review of the Styrene Assessment in
the National Toxicology Programs 12th Report on Carcinogens, strongly supporting the listing of
styrene as reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. That same week, Washington, D.C.,
joined the growing list of over 100 cities that have chosen to ban polystyrene products for health
and environmental reasons. It
is
past time for Congress to do the same.
The NAS report notes that
"many
people in the United States are exposed" to styrene
through "food (from migration of styrene from polymer packaging materials), cigarette smoke,
@)
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The Honorable John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
September 11, 2014
Page2
vehicle exhaust, and other fonns of combustion and incineration of styrene polymers."
1
The
NAS report also found occupational exposures from the production of styrene. The House of
Representatives' continued use of polystyrene containers perpetuates these exposures for those
who eat in our cafeterias, those who manufacture the containers we use, and those who live in
the areas where our waste is incinerated.
These exposures pose potential health risks. Studies cited by the National Toxicology
Program and the NAS found lymphohematopoietic, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers in people
with occupational exposures to styrene.
2
Animal studies also showed increased incidence of
cancer from both ingestion and inhalation of styrene, and mechanistic analyses ''provided
convincing evidence that genotoxicity is observed in cells from humans who were exposed to
styrene."
3
Based on those studies, the NAS committee concluded that ''compelling evidence
exists to support a listing of styrene as, at a minimum,
reasonably anticipated to be a human.
carcinogen.
'
14
Our use of these dangerous products also harms the waterways in Washington, D.C..
Trash is a significant problem for the health of the Anacostia River, which is why the-river has
had in place
a
Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for trash since 2010.
5
According to tracking
by the Anacostia Watershed Society, foam makes up about 30% of trash in the river.
6
The city is
taking action to reduce polystyrene pollution in the watershed by banning the use of polystyrene
food containers and requiring the use of compostable or recyclable food service products.
Congress shares responsibility for pollution in Washington and we should take the same action.
For more than three years, House members and staff, as well as constituents and visitors
to the
Hill
who eat in our cafeterias, have needlessly been exposed to this dangerous chemical.
National Research Council of the National Academies,
Review of the Styrene
Assessment in the National Toxicology Program 12th Report on Carcinogens
(July 28, 2014)
(online at www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=l
8725).
2
3
4
1
Id.
at
7.
Id.
Id.
at
13.
[Italicized
in
original]
of the Environment and District of Columbia Department of the
Environment - Natural Resources Administration,
Total Maximum Daily Loads of Trash for the
5
Maryland Department
Anacostia River Watershed, Montgomery and Prince George's Counties,
Maryland
and the
District of Columbia
(Sept. 21, 2010) (online at
www
.green.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/ddoe/publication/attachments/Final_ Anacostia_ Tra
sh_TMDL.pdf).
Society,
Nash Rush Trash Trap Project
(online ate
www.anacostiaws.org/programs/stewardship/monitoring/nash-run-trash-trap).
6
Anacostia Watershed
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The Honorable John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice
S.
Miller
September
I'l,
2014
Page3
We have also been contributing to the problem oflitter in the District of Columbia. We hope
you will reconsider
the
use of polystyrene foam
in
our cafeterias.
Sincerely,
@)
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The Honorable John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
September 11, 2014
Page4
~UA.~
QitJ~
$
~~~
_?4rw~
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The Honorable John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
September 11, 2014
Page5
f!io41R
Ii.
&fr
~~
~.~- ~~
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~\)~
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The Honorable
John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
September 11, 2014
Page6
~-
~;;r~<ta
::&t~
cJ
flk&u1
cMi
I
IPv
~~~~~
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The Honorable John
A.
Boehner
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Candice S. Miller
September
11, 2014
Page7
~d((~~
~~
@
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APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER 48 - SOLID WASTE (TRASH) TO MUNICIPALITIES
Source: Montgomery County Code, Appendix F.
County Laws Applicable to Municipalities
Town of Barnesville
Town of Brookville
Chevy Chase Village
Chevy Chase View
Chevy Chase Sec. 3
Town of Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase Sec. 5
City of Gaithersburg
Town of Garrett Park
Town of Glen Echo
Town of Kensington
Town of Laytonsville
Village of Martin's Addition
Village of North Chevy Chase
Town of Poolesville
City of Rockville
Town of Somerset
City of Takoma Park
Town of Washington Grove
no
yes
no
yes
no
yes
yes
no
no
no
yes
yes
no
yes
yes
no
no
yes
no
@
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\
Testimony on Behalf of County Executive Isiah Leggett on
Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (Trash)-
Food Service Products - Packaging Requirements
October 14, 2014
Good evening President Rice and Members of the County Council. I am Dan Locke,
Chief, Division of Solid Waste Services in the Department of Environmental Protection and I am
here to testify on behalf of County Executive Isiah Leggett in support of Bill 41-14. The Bill
would amend the County Code governing certain packaging and food service ware used by food
service businesses in the County.
The purpose of this bill is to reduce litter and pollution found in our watersheds by
requiring food service businesses (including County Departments and Agencies) to stop using
polystyrene products and eventually requiring them
all
to use compostable or recyclable food
service ware. The bill also prohibits the sale and use of polystyrene loose fill packaging. The Bill
requires the Executive to establish, and update annually, a list of vendors offering affordable and
compostable disposable food service ware products.
Enforcement of Bill 41-14 will be accomplished with current Executive Branch Staff, on
a complaint driven basis, with the Department of Environmental Protection taking the lead.
Lastly, Bill 41-14 is a very good compliment to ongoing efforts to reduce litter in our
waterway as required by our current MS4 permit. We look forward to the positive impact this
Bill will have on waterways within the County.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify.
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~Conservation
Montgmnexy
Statement on Council Bill 41-14
Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (I'rash)-Food Service Products Packaging Materials
October 14, 2014
Position: Favorable
Delivered
by
caren Madsen, Chair, Board of Directors
Conservation Montgomery supports Bill 41-14 and we thank Councilmembers Riemer,
Leventhal and Eirich for leading the way on this legislation.
We support this bill because it aligns with our mission to help improve the quality of life for
Montgomery County residents while protecting and conserving the county's natural resources. Too
often, however, we see our beautiful parks, streams, creeks and roadways littered with polystyrene
food containers which this bill seeks to ban. Working with teenagers who are earning SSL hours,
I've picked up more than my fair share of this awful stuff in county parks and out of the Northwest
Branch of the Anacostia River.
We assume this bill will have unanimous passage by this Council for all of the reasons spelled
out in the Jegislative packet drafted by your staff. However, I'd like to encourage you to consider an
extra step. No bill will ever guide consumers toward behavior that discourages litter.
We encourage you to work with the Executive branch to develop an effective countywide
public education campaign to reduce litter that will reach all population segments of the county.
Those of us who are baby boomers still remember the Keep America Beautiful campaign launched in
the 1960s featuring the actor Iron Eyes Cody- he's typically remembered as the "crying Indian." As
an aside, we found out years later that Iron Eyes was actually 100% Italian. But the message he
helped deliver remains ingrained in our memory. Without effective public education in our
communities, no bill will keep Montgomery clean.
On a final note, I want to applaud the county employees who operate the solid waste
recycling facility in Shady Grove. That facility is impressive and is one of the best services county
taxpayers have at their disposal. I hope the Council will always keep that service fully funded.
Thank you.
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SIERRA
CLUB
FOUNDED 1892
Montgomery County Group
Montgomery County Council Hearing
Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (Trash) - Food Service Products - Packaging Materials -
·
Requirements
October 14, 2014
Good evening. I am 6rian Ditzler, a resident of Silver Spring, and am here speaking on behalf of
the Sierra Club of Montgomery County and its 5000 members in this county. I currently serve
on the Sierra Club Executive Committees for our county and for the state chapter.
Our county group strongly supports Bill 41-14 that would restrict the sale and use of expanded
polystyrene in food service products and loose fill packaging in Montgomery
County~
Expanded polystyrene is one of the most ubiquitous examples of unnecessary, single use,
throw away packaging in our country, and it is having a profoundly negative effect on our
environment and health.
It is made from petroleum, a non-renewable, heavily polluting commodity. Polystyrene
manufacturing requires enormous energy consumption and excessive greenhouse gas
emissions. In addition to polluting the air, polystyrene manufacturing creates large amounts of ·
liquid and solid waste. In fact, an EPA report on solid waste named the polystyrene
manufacturing process as the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste in the U.S.
Expanded polystyrene is designed to be used for relatively short periods, but because it is not
biodegradable, it may take hundreds of years to deteriorate in our environment and landfills.. ·
Polystyrene cannot easily be recycled, and is not accepted for recycling in our county.
Because it is very light weight, polystyrene is easily blown into our streets, gutters and.storm
drains, even when property disposed ot With its buoyancy, it easily reaches our waterways and
eventually· our oceans worldwide. Polystyrene food packaging contributes disproportionately to
oceanic plastic pollution, with more than 80 percent of this pollution coming from urban litter.·
A local example of the pervasive presence of polystyrene was demonstrated when a trash trap
along Nash Run in Washington, DC, which flows into the Anacostia River, revealed 22 percent
of the average trash volume collected by the trap was polystyrene foam. This was according to
a 2010 report by the Anacostia Watershed Society for the
pc
Department of the Environment.
Because polystyrene is very brittle,
it
can easily break into small pieces which makes clean up
quite diffieult,
if
not impossible. When in small pieces floating in our waterways and oceans,
polystyrene is consumed by marine life (including seabirds) because
it
appears to be food. It
actually can cause choking or starvation when ingested, and the toxic chemicals it contains
surely aren't good for the health of marine life either.
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Polystyrene contains styrene and benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are
hazardous to humans. They can leach
out
into the food and drink that polystyrene packaging
contains, especially when heated in a microwave. .
·
For all these reasons, more than·
100
cities in the US and Canada (including Washington, DC,
New York City, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland), as well as cities in
Europe a.nd Asia, have banned polystyrene food packaging.
~
Since Bill
41-14
closely tracks legislation already passed in Washington, DC, Montgomery
County coufd join
\Vitti
its
neighboring jurisdiction in an effort to raise public awareness
of
the
problems with expanded polystyrene products and why other food service ware is preferable.
.
.
'
Bill
41-14
also would require that compostable or recyclable food service ware be used by the ·
county, its contractors or lessees and food service businesses. That also makes a lot of sense. ·
· Such a requirement likely would increase the use
of
compostable materials in
the
county, which
would be a positive development for the recycling movement. If our county were to_ significantly
expand its small, model project collecting food waste for recycling (which we would advocate),
the addition of compostable food service.ware to
food
waste would increase the total volume
that could be c011ected for composting. This would be another important step forward in .
expanding green economic development opportunities and building a more sustainable
Montgomery County.
After all, food is the largest component
of
waste
{21
%)
going into landfills and incineration,
according to the EPA Food waste (and compostable food service ware) pbssibly could be
added to the yard trim that already is coUected and composted by the county to create more soil
supplement for resale.
·
·
Let me note before closing that
it
is unfortunate that. many food service businesses will be
forced to change the containers they use for food they sell if this bill passes. ·However, change
happens in advanced societies when it turns out there are real problems
with
the way
something was done. ,
·
For example, asbestos. was widely used in induStry and in home products like flooring, ·
insulation, siding, shingles and some appliances that heat up. However,· when
it
was
detennined asbestos caused real problems, society decided it was prudent to use alternatives.
·
That's wliat needs to happen now that the many problems with polystyrene have been
establish~
..
.
.
.
.
To summarize, Sierra Club Montgomery County heartily endorses Bill
41:-14.
We commend Council ·Member Reimer for introducing the bill, arid thank Council Members
Leventhal and Eirich fQr supporting
it.
@
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· THE
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
ofMontgomery County,
Am,
Inc.
,
,
_____
__
--
Statement on Bill No. 41-14
Montgomery County Council
October 14, 2014
Dear Council President and other Council Members:
Please note the following remarks concerning Bill
41-14,
Solid Waste (Trash) Food Service
Products Packaging Materials -Requirements,
which the League of Women Voters of
Montgomery County strongly supports.
For many, many years the League of Women Voters nationally has emphasized
REDUCE,
REUSE, RECYCLE
as the recommended order of actions for handling materials. The
problem that the county council is being asked to address now is that the only one of these
that can be safely applied to polystyrene materials is
"reduce".
Styrene materials cannot be routinely reused; nor can they be recycled. Disposal in a
landfill does not work because they do not degrade completely and their tiny-particles
can harm the organisms that take them in. Disposal through incineration adds more
greenhouse gases (mostly carbon dioxide) to the atmosphere.
On behalf of the League, I note that we are aware of and appreciate that once this bill
passes, the county will track how well and how rapidly the replacement compostable
materials actually compost.
Meanwhile we urge you
to
pass Bill No. 41-14 as soon as possible to assist in getting the
deleterious polystyrene materials out of the county's waste stream.
Yours truly,
Linna Barnes, President
League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Maryland, Inc., 12216 Parldawn
Dr.,
Suite 101, Rockville, MD 20852
Tel.: 301-984-9585
*
Fax: 301-984-9586
*.
Email:
lwvmc@erols.com
*
Web: mont.lwvmd.org@
Over 90 Years of Making Democracy Worlc
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SURFRIDER
~;
..
Pr.er.
FOUNDATION
~
Montgomery County Council, October 14, 2014 Hearing
Testimony IN SUPPORT of Bill 41-14 (the "Bill")
Michael Caruso
D.C. Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation
http:l/dc.surfrider .org/ -- chair@dc.surfrider.org
I am submitting this testimony on behalf of the D.C. Chapter (the "D.C. Chapter") of the Surfrider
Foundation. (I will also be a Montgomery County resident as of this Friday.)
The D.C. Chapter is speaking here in
support
of Bill 41-14.
The Surfrider Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and
enjoyment of oceans, waves, beaches, and rivers. The D.C. Chapter engages almost 100
members in Montgomery County and 400 members in the greater Washington D.C. metro area
to both protect and enjoy the Anacostia, Potomac, and all our local rivers and waters. Our
chapter members access the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, and its tributaries, on stand-up
paddleboards, kayaks, and even by
swimming~
The chapter holds several cleanups each year,
and we have held several cleanups in Montgomery County over the past few years, where we
collect trash along, and from, the Anacostia, Potomac, and its tributaries here in Montgomery
County. We find expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) at every cleanup, and it represents a
substantial portion of the trash we collect.
As you may know, EPS neither biodegrades
1
nor does Montgomery County recycle the material.
In fact, EPS, and plastic more generally, is a global problem that affects all of the world's
oceans. Plastics, which include EPS, are one of the most common types of marine litter
worldwide.
2
Eliminating the source of this pollutant upstream -- in Montgomery County --will
help both our local and global waterways.
Similar bans are already in place in several parts of the country, including, as you know, D.C.,
and in Berkeley, California, Marin County, California, Freeport, Maine, Amherst, Massachusetts,
Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington. The Surfrider Foundation maintains a list of
municipalities that have existing EPS bans. (A link to that list is available here:
http://www.surfrider.org/pages/polystyrene-ordinances.)
Further, our Montgomery County members support this bill -- many of you received our chapter's
action alert that asked residents to contact their council members about this bill.
We ask that the Montgomery County Council pass Bill 41-14, and help Montgomery County fight
this source of non-biodegradable trash from reaching our rivers and waterways, which our
members regularly use and enjoy as residents of Montgomery County.
Thank you for your consideration.
1
2
See: http://www.beachapedia.org/Polvstyrene
See: http://www.beachapedia.org/Rise Above Plastics Facts and Figures
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~u
1::::::::===oi::::::--=--n~usott
.
Clean Land, Safe Water, Healthy Lives
?oui\da-f"toK.
To the Montgomery County Council
Remarks of Clara Elias, Program Manager, Alice Ferguson Foundation
Regarding Bill 41-14, Solid Waste (frash) Food Service Products - Packaging Materials
-
Requirements
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
My name is Clara Elias and I am here representing the Alice
Ferguson Foundation. Thank you for conducting this important
public hearing concerning Bill 41-14, Food Service Products
Packaglng Material Requirements. I am here today in support of a
Polystyrene ban.
The Alice Ferguson Foilndation is an environmental education
nonprofit based in Maryland. We have been coordinating the
Potomac River Watershed Cleanup with our partners in April for
the past 26 years.
Tbis
past April over nearly 15,000 volunteers
worked to pull 576,000 pounds of trash from Maryland, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Much
of the trash that was picked up was polystyrene, also known as
Styrofoam.
In
fact, the 2008
Anacosti.a River Trash R.eduction Plan
found that Styrofoam containers and products accounted for 17%
of floatable trash pollution and nearly 10% of land based litter
found within the Anacostia River Watershed. These Styrofoam
products do not biodegrade, instead they accumulate degrading
the quality of our environment and our communities. Styrofoam
products also break into smaller pieces that are both
difficult
to
remove by our cleanup volunteers, but also commonly mistaken
for food by wildlife. Once ingested polystyrene can lead to
starvation in wildlife and become incorporated into the food
chain where it can disrupt
physiol~gical
processes as styrene, a
component of Styrofoam, is a recognized neurotoxicant.
While cleanups are important for keeping the Potomac Watershed
free of plastic bags and other litter, we also need to address the
source of
this
pollution. One way we can do
this
is with policies,
such as a polystyrene ban, that are effective at changing behavior
and reducing litter. For instance, since bag fees were implemented
in the District of Columbia and Montgomery County our Cleanup
Po!JS!Jrene dam.rhell.r, r:sps, and othl!f"
pack.aging are re!l'iar!J littered.
Styrofoam
litter in our .Jtreets and crmrmuniues
makes
it.r
wrg downstream into our local
waterwrgs where it strgs in the emiro1111Jent.
-~
2001 Bryan Point Road
Accokeek. Maryland 20607
Phone 301.292.5665
Fax
301.292.
l
070
fergusonfoundation.org
1255 23rd Street. NW, Suite 275
Washington. DC 20036
Phone 202.973.8203
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volunteers have recorded over 50% less plastic bags at sites
within
these jurisdictions. A polystyrene
ban has the same potential to drastically reduce the level of trash pollution
in
the District.
A
switch to compostable and recyclable alternatives would be a
win
for the environment, and
doesn't need to be difficult.
In
a
2013
survey we did of
33
food trucks
in
DC, we found that roughly
40%
were already
using
compostable materials, such as paper plates and waxed paper boats, with a
similar amount relying on expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam). For
this
reason we believe it
will
be
easier than one may
think
for businesses to make the switch, especially
if
businesses are provided
with a clear and comprehensive list of alte:mari.Ves. The Alice Ferguson Foundation hopes that the
council
will
vote in favor of a polystyrene ban and in favor of trash free waterways in Montgomery
County.
Thank
you.
@
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Bill 41-14-SUPPORT
1ESTIM:ONY OF MATTHEW FLEISCHER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
ROCK CREEK CONSERVANCY
At the Public Hearing on Bill No. 41-14
Ban of Polystyrene Food Service Ware
Montgomery County Council
October 14, 2014
Rock Creek Conservancy
(RCC)
is a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to
protect and restore Rock Creek and its waterways, parks, and lands. RCC has
mobilized thousands of volunteers to protect Rock Creek's watershed and its 20 major
tributaries. Our projects have included tree planting, storm
drain
marking, invasive
plant removal, rain garden installations, and trash cleanups.
Rock Creek
is
the second largest watershed in Montgomery County, spanning
over 168 miles of waterways from its northernmost tributaries near Laytonsville, MD
to its outlet into the Potomac River across from Roosevelt Island in DC. The
watershed includes Matthew Henson State Park; Rock Creek Regional Park, Rock
Creek Stream Valley Park, Rockville's Civic Center Park, and over 40 local parks.
Given Rock Creek's expanse through some of the most densely commercial areas in
Montgomery County, RCC supports the passage ofBill 41-14 to eliminate the use of
expanded polystyrene in food service and packaging facilities.
Scientific evidence demonstrates that polystyrene is a health threat to humans
and wildlife, polluting water sources, infiltrating habitats and ecosystems, and being
labeled as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" by the US Department
of Health and Human Services. Rock Creek Conservancy
has
done its part to minimize
this threat by reducing the presence of trash, including polystyrene, in Rock Creek
parks and waterways.
Over the past three years, volunteers spent over 25,500 hours pulling trash from
streams and woodlands at 75 different locations that border the creek through our
annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup and other cleanup events. Altogether, 26.5 tons
of loose trash and 6618 bags of trash were collected. Despite the efficacy of
Montgomery County's plastic bag tax, reducing the number of plastic bags collected in
Montgomery County trash cleanups from well over 7,000
in
2011to2,360
in
2014,
other trash continues to pollute Rock Creek.
1
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Bill 41-14--SUPPORT
Based on regional watershed cleanup records, we know that as much as three
quarters of trash removed from waterways is food-related, with
25-40°/o
in the form of
expanded polystyrene. Polystyrene enters Rock Creek and its waterways as food ware
used at picnics, barbeques and other outdoor eating activities held in Rock Creek or at
nearby establishments. Polystyrene products also enter Rock Creek's waterways as
litter that has been dropped, thrown from cars, blown from trashcans or trucks, and
found in illegal dumpsites.
1bis
litter washes into storm
drain
systems from
commercial areas in Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring, Wheaton, and a number of
strip developments.
As they make their way through storm drains into nearby creeks, polystyrene
products break up into smaller and smaller pieces that absorb toxic chemicals and are
difficult to pick up. Once in the creeks, polystyrene bits either continue downstream or
catch on fallen trees amongst other trash.
During
rainfall that overflows the creeks, the
trash that
has
dammed then washes downstream to the Potomac River, the region's
main
source of
drinking
water. Whether they remain local or are washed out to sea,
polystyrene particles persist indefinitely, becoming part of the food
chain
when eaten
by plankton, birds,. fish, and eventually by us.
The best solution to
this
pervasive and toxic pollution is to limit its sources and
prevent its usage.
1bis
legislation would reduce the unnecessary use of polystyrene
foam products, a convenience that has become a menace to our natural landscapes
and waterways. Moreover, there are established alternatives to these products. Rock
Creek Conservancy strongly supports Bill No.
41-14.
2
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Montgomery County Council, October 14, 2014 Hearing
Testimony IN SUPPORT of Bill 41-14
I am providing this testimony on behalf of the Neighbors of the
Northwest Branch. We are a 501(c){3) nonprofit volunteer watershed
organization committed to restoring the health of the 19-mile long
stream so this urban treasure can be safely enjoyed by wildlife, our
families, and generations to come.
In pursuit of our mission, we maintain a program of action, education,
and advocacy. Our members strive to protect the watershed by
removing invasive plants and planting native species, supporting
reforestation projects and the construction of rain gardens, regularly
monitoring sites for changes in water quality, and organizing trash
cleanups along the tributary every spring and fall.
As residents of the Anacostia's major tributary, we take very seriously
our responsibility to lessen the burden on colleagues downstream who
are striving to restore the river's tidal main stem.
As
you may be aware,
both the Anacostia Riverkeeper and the Anacostia Watershed Society
have identified polystyrene foam as one of the most common types of
trash in the tidal river, the latter reporting that it comprises as much as
20% by volume of the trash they encounter.
During the biannual cleanups of the Neighbors of the Northwest Branch,
we routinely remove tires, bottles, paper, and other trash from the
stream and the surrounding woods, but polystyrene foam is different. It
is much more difficult to retrieve, whether with nets, or with garbage
grabbers or by hand, and is thus far more likely to evade us and flow
further downstream.
Given the buoyancy of polystyrene foam, what escapes our efforts will
likely continue down the river and end up bobbing in the Bay, littering
the beach at Ocean City, or endlessly swirling within the ever-growing
trash island in the middle of the Atlantic. Whatever its destination, it will
pose a health threat to wildlife as they ingest lethal particles mistaking
them for food on the water's surface.
And those particles that elude us will be out there a very long time.
Indeed, had Captain John Smith gotten "take out>' when he was
exploring the Anacostia and tossed a Styrofoam food container
overboard, bits of his trash might still with us today. Some have
estimated that polystyrene foam floating in the relative cool and
P.O.
'Box
4314
sifver
Sprino,
:M.'D
20914-4314
James Graham
President
John Ft!J
Secretary
Larry Hush
Treasurer
Anne Ambler
Outreach Chair
Suzanne Donohue
Jim Fary
Gl.enn Wekh
Edward M.urtagh
Liaison, Friends of
Sligo Creek
******
Elaine Lamirande
Chair, Wood.moor
Green Team
www.neighbo:rsnwb.org
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darkness of the ocean can last as long as 400 years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration's Marine Debris Program, perhaps a bit more cautiously, simply states that it will
degrade, but will never "go away".
Not all environmental problems have simple, clear-cut solutions, but luckily some do. The
Neighbors of the Northwest Branch have seen with our own eyes the positive impact that the
County's fee on plastic bags has had on reducing such trash in our beautiful stream and we fully
expect that passage of this bill will have an equally beneficial effect.
So we ask that the County Council pass Bill 41-14 and we invite you to join us at our next cleanup
on October 25, at Burnt Mills Park.
James Graham, President
307 Lexington Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20901
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Testimony Supporting Montgomery County Council Bill 41-14,
Banning single-use polystyrene foam containers, and more
October 14, 2014
Daniel C. Smith, Director of Public Polley and Advocacy
Anacostia Watershed Society
4302 Baltimore Avenue
Bladensburg, MD 20710
I am Dan Smith, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) here
to speak in favor of Bill No. 41-14 to ban the use and sale of most single-use polystyrene foam
products. A WS is focused on restoring the Anacostia River to fishable and swimmable conditions as
mandated by the Clean Water Act of 1972. Our goal is to restore the river by 2025, a challenging,
but feasible goal. Styrofoam products are a major scourge of the river. Not only are they unsightly,
but they are a threat to wildlife, to ecological systems and to sustainability.
AWS operates a trash trap in Nash Run, a stream that collects runoff and trash from a small area of
Maryland and the District and then flows into Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, the nation's only
National Park for water plants.
It
is from Nash Run that we have over four years of detailed data on
the amount and composition of trash from this part of our watershed. Other studies and assessments
have been done by county, state and federal agencies to develop plans, strategies and requirements
to clean the river, including for the three federal stormwater (MS4) permits issued in the watershed,
and for the Anacostia Trash 'fMDL (only the second river in the country to be found impaired to
such a degree by trash to require establishing specific pollution limits).
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Government's 2007 Anacostia Watershed Trash
Reduction Strategy, for example, asks jurisdictions to fund trash reduction programs and to
"Improve enactment and enforcement of laws to reduce trash."
The attached graph and photo shows the composition of trash collected from the trash trap we
custom built and now maintain for the District at Nash Run. Styrofoam comprises more than 30% of
the trash at times (by volume). The average amount removed monthly over the past four years is
21 % by volume. These findings are the result of a meticulous effort to separate the entire month's
trash by categories including plastic bags, beverage containers, polystyrene foam, and other
materials.
Because Styrofoam is much lighter by volume than other trash we measure it by the amount of
space it takes up, not weight. We consistently find that two of every ten bags of trash are foam cups,
plates, and "clamshells." And let me be very clear, this only includes largely intact foam products.
As soon as these products begin breaking up, they quickly become :fragments that no trash trap can
collect. As you can from the photos included with my written testimony, it is impossible to collect
the millions of small pieces of this material. Material that we understand will not decompose ever,
or at least for four or five hundred years.
The sustainable solution to managing this waste stream and others -- since the manufacturers,
distributors, and end users of Styrofoam are unwilling to take responsibility for its secure reuse or
safe disposal -- is to ban the material outright. The disposal responsibility should NOT fall to
1
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Montgomery County taxpayers and agencies, or to nonprofits, volunteers, workforce development
teams, or to generations yet unborn. We are all suffering from this pollution. And it's a costly, but
losing effort.
No amount of trash traps or stream cleanups will keep our Anacostia, or Rock Creek, or Potomac or
Chesapeake Bay from the scourge of Styrofoam pollution. These efforts are very important, but
they are stop gap or transitional at best. We need a cultural shift, a change in behavior. You have the
power to aid that transition in major way with this legislation.
The measure we are considering today is a long overdue and not unexpected action for a well-
documented and long-festering problem.
In
addition to the authorities already mentioned, trash
reduction of this kind is of keen interest to the National Park Service, NOAA, EPA, MDE, DEP,
DDOE and DoE.
The Bag Bill has been a fantastic example of behavior change. It's amazing how a nickel has
caught the attention of so many people! The reduction of plastic bags at the source has been over
50%. The study released in January by DDOE reports that the District's Bag Fee Law is working
for both residents and businesses. And we are here to say that it is also working for the River.
We have conducted our annual Earth Day Clean up with partners for almost
20
years. The trash we
are finding today is refuse of a "convenient lifestyle," from food and
drink
made available
everywhere and anytime. I'm certain that you will hear from the packaging manufacturers and
sellers that this ban is an affront to their livelihood. But
I
am here today speaking for the Anacostia
River which has taken way too much abuse, for far too long, and whose waters long for clarity and
sustainability. "Free me from Styrofoam," is the call we hear from the River. "Stop clogging my
arteries and tributaries with trash."
In
conclusion, the Anacostia Watershed Society supports Bill 41-14 as an important way to reduce
the negative environmental and human health effects of polystyrene foam by reducing its use in the
County. Banning foam and requiring recyclable or compostable alternatives will have a significant
positive effect on our streams and neighborhoods.
I
hope Montgomery County will join
Washington, DC, in leading the region in preventing trash pollution at its source.
For
25
years now,
AWS
has worked to secure a strong, sustainable, smart,
and
successful
restoration of the river for people, wildlife and the enhancement of nearby communities.
Montgomery County and its residents have and will continue to be essential partners in efforts to
clean up the Anacostia River and its tributaries. Our work is bearing fruit. Our river is increasingly
seen as an urban oasis for recreation and a desirable location for living and working.
Thank you. And thank you for the opportunity to testify today.
The Anacostia Watershed Society is a member of the Maryland Trash Free Alliance and also
supports the work and testimony of our many collaborators and allies including the Institute for
Local Self Reliance, DC Environmental Network, Sierra Club, Neighbors of the Northwest Branch,
Alice Ferguson Foundation, and the many other advocates for clean water and healthy communities
who serve Anacostia, Rock Creek and Potomac Communities.
Attachments.
2
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@Mar.2010
Apr. 2010
May. 2010
Jun. 2010
Jul.2010
Aug.2010
Sep. 2010
Oct. 2010
Nov. 2010
Dec. 2010
Jan.2011
Feb.2011
Mar. 2011
Apr. 2011
May. 2011
Jun. 2011
Jul. 2011
Aug. 2011
Sep. 2011
Oct. 2011
Nov. 2011
Dec. 2011
Jan. 2012
Feb. 2012
Mar. 2012
Apr. 2012
May. 2012
Jun. 2012
Jul. 2012
Aug. 2012
Sep.2012
Oct. 2012
Nov. 2012
Dec.
2012
Jan. 2013
Feb. 2013
Mar. 2013
Apr. 2013
May 2013
Jun. 201
3
Jul. 201
3
Aug.201
3
Sep.201
3
Oct. 201
3
Nov. 201
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Dec. 201
3
Jan. 201
4
Feb.201
4
Mar. 201
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Apr. 201
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Small Particles of Styrofoam
It
is
impossible
to pick up all
these small
particles of
Styrofoam
~,ANACOSTIA
~WATERS~~~
www.anacostiaws.org
''':'!'~captured
in
May 2012 by Nash Run Trash Trap was presented by category.
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\'V
•l
SugarloafCitizens
Association
1
Protecting Our Rural Legacy
Linden Farm, 20900 Martinsburg Rd., PO Box 218, Dickerson, MD 20842
www.Sugarloaft:itizens.org
• Tel. 301-349-4889
Good Evening. My name is Beth Daly and I am testifying on behalf of the Sugarloaf Citizens Association
(Sugarloaf) and Montgomery Countryside Alliance (MCA). Both Sugarloaf and MCA work to preserve the
agricultural tradition and environmental health in upper Montgomery County.
With that mission in mind, I am here today to register our support of Bill 41-14 introduced by Council member
Riemer and co-sponsored by Councilmembers Eirich and Leventhal. By prohibiting the use of polystyrene food
service products -commonly known as "Styrofoam" -and requiring the use of compostable or recyclable food
service ware, we are taking an important step towards a healthier and less polluted Montgomery County.
Styrofoam does not break down and contributes to litter in our waterways and green spaces. Additionally,
styrene-a main ingredient in Styrofoam-is a known carcinogen. Our County's incinerator is located in
Dickerson--the heart of the Agricultural Reserve. In calendar year 2012, approximately 9,000 tons of styrene
products were combusted at the County's Resource Recovery Facility. While there is no data to breakout the
amount of styrofoam that is burned, it is safe to say that those who live and work in the shadows of the
incinerator would be pleased to have less pollutants in the air.
We appreciate your consideration of our views and thank you for serving our County.
Sugarloaf Citizens' Association is a tax-exempt organization -1.R.S. Code Sec. 501(c)(3).
All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law
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October 14, 2014
Testimony. Supporting a
Ban
On Polystyrene Containers
in
Montgomery County
(Bill
41·14)
Councilmember Riemer's bill to ban styrofoam containers, cups and packing material and replace
them with compostable or recyclable materials would signifi.cantly improve the environment and
health of people in Montgomery County. Montgomery
Co.
should follow the lead of the District of
Columbia, NY City, San Francisco, San Jose, and Seattle by passing this bill.
A.
SfJ'rofaam
is
bad for
the environment:
1.
It
creates a huge amount of waste and pollution.
.
Polystyrene products are made with
petroleum~
a non-sustainable and heavily polluting resource.
Styrofoam
is
not biodegradable and cannot be ·recycled. It takes 500 years to decompose.
According to the California Integrated Waste Management
Board,
its
environmental impacts were
second highest, behind aluminum.
A 1986 EPA report on solid waste named the polystyrene manufacturing process as the fifth largest
creator of hazardous waste
in
the United States.
This
is
because of the product manufacturing process, a
the use and disposal of the products, energy consumption, greenhouse gas effect, and total
environmental effect.
1'
2. It litters the environment. especially waterwqys
Studies
by
the
D.C.
District Department of the Environment, the Montgomery County Department of
the Environment, and the Maryland Department of the Environment confi.rm that styrofoam is a
signifi.cant source of litter, especially in watersheds. Because it is lightweight,
it
goes through gutters
and stormdrains
into
waterways. The fa.rther
it
travels, the smaller the pieces get, which makes it hard
to clean up. Styrofoam contributes 22% of the trash
in
an Anacostia River tributary, according to the
D.C.
Department of the Environment. It contributes 9000 tons toJhe
~aste s~am
of Montgomery
County.
·
· -···- · · ..
~··
.
The United Nations Environment Program estimated
in
2006 that
every
square mile of ocean has
46,000 pieces of floating plastic
in
it. When
it
gets into the watersheds, it is ingested
by
marine life,
causing harm to it.
3. Styrofoam contributes to climate change. Styrofoam is made with
.hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC),
which, as a greenhouse gas,
has 1000 times greater effect on global warming than carbon dioxide.
B. Sttrofoam
is
bad for people's health:
1. Stvmfoam releases toxic gasses when burned. It releases two toxic gases. One is benzene, a highly
carcinogenic substance. The other is styrene, which is highly
toxic
and is readily absorbed through the
skin,
respiratory system and GI track and nervous system, and can cause deep unconsciousness and
death. The vapor can damage the eyes and mucous membranes. Styrene
is
a neurotoxin that attacks the
central and peripheral nervous systems. The accumulation of these highly fat-soluble materials in the
fat-rich tissues of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves is correlated with acute or chronic
functional impairment of the nervous system. Styrofoam has_been found
in
100% of human's fat tissue.
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It also releases a great deal of soot when burned. This
is
bad for the respiratory system and increases
asthma and allergies.
2. SOTo{oam leaches the toxin stmme into warm food and drinks:
Styrofoam containers leach styrene into warm food and drinks, alcohol, oily
food,
and acidic food.
Thus,
we should avoid drinking tea with lemon, coffee with dairy cream, fruit juices, alcoholic
beverages and wine from styr0foam cups. Red wine instantly dissolves styrofoam. Food containing
vitamin A decomposes when heated in styrofoam containers. It is not safe
to
microwave in st;yrofoam
because it leaches toxins into the food.
Chamber of Commerce and Restaurant Associations: Take Not.el There
Is
no reason
to
use
styrofoarn
any
more.
There
are competitively priced altematiVes, which are recyclable and
compostable. Containers, cups and packing peanuts can all
be
made out of recyclable and compostable
materials for'only slightly
more.
·'
C.
"Why Biodegradable Take-Out Boxes and Cups are the
Way
to
Go~"
Great Allegheny Passage
Sustainable Business Network. April 13; 2011
'
"While these alternatives do cost more
than
the traditional Styrofoam and paper cups and containers, their
additional cost is relatively marginal over the course of a business year. Whereas Styrofoam cups cost
$25
per
1000,
biodegradable cups can cost as little as
$100
for
1000.
This means that
if
your business uses
1000
disposable cups a year, the additional
'Cost
would
be
only
$75
per
year,
which is the amount of money you
might make in a single business day. With take-out containers, the additional costs for biodegradables can
be
less than
$140
a
year,
if
your business goes through
1000
of them in that time span."
Companies
like
Starbucks, McDonalds, and Chipotle have already moved away from styrOfoam.
This
will significantly reduce the amount of st;Yrofoam and attract environmentally oriented customers.
Montgomery County should follow the lead
of
these enlightened companies.
__
....
Molly Htluck
4004 Dresden St.
Kensington, MD. 20895-3812
,.
...._
@
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\?;
October 14, 2014 Testimony
by Margot Bloch
to the Montgomery County Council
in support of
Bill 41-14, Solid Wastes• Food Service Products -!Packaging Materials - Requirements
Good evening. My name is Margot Bloch. I am a 9th grade student at Montgomery Blair High School
and have been a member of the Young Activist Club for
7
years. Thank you for the opportunity to testify
tonight.
I am here tonight to testify in support of Bill 41-14 that would ban expanded polystyrene food service
products by food service businesses.
Because
I
am a student and
I
have been working on this issue for so long, this is very important to me
and also to our young activist club as a whole. And this is why
I
am here to testify, to discuss reasons
and facts supporting the passing of this bill.
There are many problems with polystyrene in our school and in our community. In is a huge health
concern for everyone- it is made from styrene which is a known neurotoxicant and a reasonably
anticipated human carcinogen. We should most definitely not be using it to serve our food and drinks
on.
f
Another big problem with using PS is pollution. First of all it is made from fossil fuels, and drilling and
use causes pollution locally and globally with climate change. The Dickerson incinerator burns our trash
and so chemicals go in to the air we breathe.
Also, Polystyrene is not just Styrofoam, the expanded foam form. It is all number plastics with a
number 6 resin code. This includes many different hard plastics which are also very commonly used for
food service ware. Some examples are red Solo cups, clear plastic clamshells, clear cups. We should
not be using any of it to eat or drink.
I am glad that the bill prohibits the sale of styrofoam products at stores and I support getting rid of the ,
rest of the polystyrene plates, bowls and silverware in our school cafeterias. It would be great to get the
YAC pilot tray-washing project at Piney Branch Elementary School to happen. Right now we still don't
have the go ahead to do the dishwasher project even though we've raised $10,000 to pay for
everything for a year long pilot. YAC's work on this has led to MCPS changing the styrofoam trays to
paperboard trays- but, it is still trash because the paper trays cannot
be
recycled due to food
contamination and there is no composting yet availabfe. Because of all this, we should still do just a
pilot project of reusable trays and see it that not only $ets rid of most of the trash but also saves the
'
,
school system money as we have calculated.
Please expand the bill to cover all types of
tt6
polystyrene used for foodservice ware, and add a pilot
dishwasher project for reusables in the school.
Thank you for letting me speak and we appreciate the leadership this county is taking to join many
other places in banning the use of toxic polystyrene food service ware.
®
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Madame Walker Theatre Center
Our heroine, a ladybug,
is an orphan who liv,es
with Mr.
&
Mrs.
·Roache. He gives her
advice: "We all have to
adapt to survive."
Mrs. Roache gives
advice to Aunt Beatrice,
who has the "Bug Blues"
because of husbug,
Buddy.
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October 14, 2014 Testimony
by Anna Brookes, on behalf of the Young Activist Club
to the Montgomery County Council
in support of
Bili 41-14, Solid Wastes -Food Service Products - Packaging Materials-Requirements
Good evening. My name is
Anna
Brookes and I am speaking on behalf of the Young Activist
Club in Takoma Park.
Thank you for
the
opportunity to testify.
I'm here to talk about the proposed bill banning polystyrene foam for use as packaging or food
service in businesses Montgomery county.
Since 2008, the young activist club has been working
to
raise awareness about the problems with
polystyrene in our schools and in our community.
Polystyrene is, first off: bad for the environment. It's not recyclable, not compostable, and never
biodegrades, and usually ends up polluting our oceans or waterways. Bqt polystyrene is also bad
for people's health. It's made from a chemical called styrene, which the FDA recognizes as a
known neurotoxicant and a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen- meaning it causes brain
damage and likely causes cancer.
Back in 2012, you passed Resolution No. 17-522, which supported the elimination of
polystyrene foodware in County government cafeterias.
Thank
you!
I am here tonight to urge you to pa$S Bill 41-14 that would ban expanded polystyrene food
service products by food service businesses.
We like that this current bill:
Prohibits the sale of styrofoam products at stores
Covers institutional cafeterias, including those operated by County agencies
As
you may know, we have proposed a pilot tray-washing project at Piney Branch Elementary
School. Unfortunately, Superintendent Starr and the county school board won't let us do the
dishwasher project even though we've raised $10,000 to cover
all
costs. But due to our efforts,
MCPS has decided to replace
all
styrofoam trays with these paperboard trays. However, we
think reusable trays are
still
worthy of study and could ultimately save
the
school system
money. The paper trays cannot be recycled due to food contamination and there
is
no
composting yet available. In addition, school cafeterias are still using styrofoam for bowls and
cups and polystyrene for the forks and spoons, which are wastefully individually wrapped in
plastic.
We request that you:
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Expand the bill to cover
all
types of polystyrene used for food.service ware
Ensure this bill covers MCPS and
all
polystyrene used
in
the school system
Make sure the prohibition on sale of polystyrene products stays in the bill
Polystyrene is not
just
Styrofoam, the expanded foam
form. It
is
all
number 6 type
plastics. These are examples: red Solo cups, clear plastic clamshells, clear cups.
Consider an amendment requiring MCPS to pilot a
tray
washing project
to
assess costs
between single-use trays
and
durable trays
Consider separate legislation to develop composting systems
There· are thousands of alternative products to polystyrene and dozens of cities that have banned
polystyrene.
In
Takoma Park, more
than
37 businesses have taken our No-Polystyrene Pledge,
and just last night at a hearing about a similar bill being passed
in
Takoma Park, the chair of the
Takoma Langley-Crossraods buisness associatio said she had talked to al the biusnesses there
and that almost all of them were completley supportive of the
act,
even though they would have
to stop using cheap Styrofoam.
·
When lead in gasoline and paint
was
found to be toxic, it was banned and alternatives became
available. The same is already happening
with
polystyrene. Cost should not be an issi.ie. Thank
you for your leadership in protecting my health and the health of
all
members of our county.
Thank you.
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\t\
Hi! I'm Leo Blain, and I'm also here on behalf of the Young Activists Club. First off, I
would like
to
thank
you so much for having us here tonight I would like
to
urge you
to
pass bill 41-14 that
will
prohibit the use of expanded polystyrene foodware in
businesses and schools.
As
Anna already said, polystyrene is not good for your
health. It is a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen, so it is suspected to cause
cancer, and it is a known neurotoxicant. so it is especially important to keep it out of
our schools where it can damage young students developing brains. Aside from
being harmful to humans, it is also harmful
to
the environment; the only way to get
rid of it is to burn it The cardboard trays that have been instated in Montgomery
County cafeterias are definitely a step up from polystyrene, but still cannot be
recycled due to food contamination, and cannot be composted, as Montgomery
County does not have a compost system in place. Bill 41-14
will
ban expanded
polystyrene, which is great however we urge you to consider expanding the bill to
cover all types of polystyrene used for food service ware, such as solocups and
plastic clamshells. One other part of the bill we would like to revise
is
the part that
states "Notwithstanding any other provision, a county facility, agency, department
contractor, or lessee may use disposable food service ware already purchased as of
the effective date of this act until the supplies are exhausted, or until January 1,
2017." This may allow people
to
purchase polystyrene up
to
January 1st of2017. We
would like to urge you to change the bill so that people are not allowed to purchase
polystyrene up
to
this point as allowing people to purchase it would cause continual
harm to people and the environment Once again thank you very much.
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\?::>
October 14, 2014 Testimony
by Nadine Bloch
to the Montgomery County Council
in support of
Bill 41-14, Solid Wastes - Food Service Products - Packaging Materials - Requirements
/
Good evening. Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I am here tonight in support of Bill 41-14 that
would ban expanded polystyrene food service products by food service businesses.
As a parent, an environmentalist, and someone who cares deeply about our local community and the
global environment, I am here to speak out in support of healthy products, healthy children, and
healthy communities. We know that there are corporations and individuals who are more concerned
with making money than protecting people and our planet; I would like to remind the Council that there
is a long and proud tradition of banning products that have been found to be poisonous and toxic in
spite of the seeming financial incentives to continue their use- including ozone depleting chemicals,
cigarettes, lead in paint and gasoline,
DDT
and other pesticides, just to name a few.
All
#6
plastics have styrene as their base monomer, and therefore all are implicated as a known
neurotoxicant and now reasonably anticipated human carcinogen.
(http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordlD=18725)
Plastic leachate of endocrine disruptors is
also implicated in obesity and learning disabilities in children.
(http :11www.nytimes.com120131011201opinion1sunday1kristof-warnings-from-a-flabby-mouse. html?ret=opinion&_r=1 &
l Disparate
impacts of this toxicity will be born by those who can least afford it, as the school lunch program
serves predominantly low income youth of color. Production facilities, as well as incinerators, often
pollute surrounding areas and result in negative health impacts for workers and local ecology. All of
this will cost us, the non-corporate beneficiaries of plastic production, a huge amount in externalized
health care and special educational fees. Unfortunately the way our accounting is set up it is difficult to
quantify the externalized costs of continuing to use toxic PS; if it were factored into the County's
calculations it would be clearly more economical in the long run to support using healthy alternatives.
Congratulations to the sponsors of this bill for following up on the 2012 Resolution No. 17-522, which
supported the elimination of polystyrene food ware in County government cafeterias.
It is smart to include a prohibition on the sale of styrofoam products , and that it covers all institutional
cafeterias, so please keep these critical pieces in the final bill.
As well, to make the Bill most effective at keeping our people and communities healthy, please:
Expand the bill to cover all types of polystyrene used for foodservice ware
Set a swift timeline for MCPS to remove all polystyrene from foodservice in the school
system
Consider an amendment requiring MCPS to pilot a tray washing project to assess costs
between single-use trays and durable trays (call on the Takoma Park YAC to use their
$10k to support this pilot.)
Consider separate legislation to develop composting systems, a vocational /technical
program to support this in the County, and develop a revenue stream.
I have personally talked with many businesses in my town who are in support of this ban, and who
have already transitioned from toxic PS to alternatives, or who are in the process of doing so. Almost
40 businesses in Takoma Park have signed onto the PS Free Pledge of the YAC; and Crossroads
Community association has support from its businesses and vendors as well.
There are thousands of alternative products to polystyrene and dozens of municipalities that have
already banned polystyrene and it is encouraging that MoCo is potentially following on this path.
Thank you for your leadership on this issue, please support an expanded PS Ban for MoCo.
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Montgomery Council Hearing on
Bill 41-14,
Solid Wastes - Food Service Products- Packaging Materials- Requirements
Testimony Supporting
October
14th, 2014
By Brenda Platt
Co-Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance
2001
S St, NW, Suite
570,
Washington, DC
20009
bplatt@ilsr.org • www.ilsr.org
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for your support in making Montgomery County
a more sustainable and livable community. My name is Brenda Platt and I am the co-director of the
Washington, DC-based nonprofit, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR). I have worked
28
years on solid waste issues and authored numerous reports on waste incineration, reuse, recycling,
composting, and zero waste planning. I currently head up ILSR's Sustainable Plastics and
Composting Makes $en$e Projects, co-chair the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative, and co-lead
a Montgomery-County-based Young Activist Club that is focused on getting polystyrene out of their
school and community. I am an expert on polystyrene, compostable foodservice ware, and
composting. I have also been a Montgomery County resident since
1989.
I am testifying today to support
Bill 41-14,
which restricts the use of expanded polystyrene
foodservice products. I have identified and documented more than two dozen similar laws passed
in other jurisdictions, and helped to pass the District's law earlier this year.
There are many valid reasons to restrict polystyrene foodservice products. As a mother, the top
one for me is public health.
Health Implications:
Polystyrene is made from the styrene monomer; which is a known
neuroto:xicant and was elevated in
2011
from being a possible human carcinogen to being
reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.
1
This means there is a huge body of evidence
now linking styrene to human cancers. No polymerization process is
100%
efficient, so styrene
remains in polystyrene and has been found in
100%
of adipose
(fatty
tissue) samples, meaning it is
widespread and prevalent in all of us. It even crosses the placenta barrier. According to a
2000
World Health Organization report, "The ability of styrene monomer to migrate from polystyrene
packaging to food has been reported in a number of publications and probably accounts for the
greatest contamination of foods by styrene monomer."2 You may hear that polystyrene is safe
because it's FDA-approved and regulated. Sadly, we know that the science and history of the
regulatory process proves otherwise (consider how long it took to ban lead in paint and gasoline, or
the current battle to ban BPA, despite hundreds of peer-reviewed research studies). Products
approved in the marketplace today may well likely be banned tomorrow as policy keeps pace with
science.
Polystyrene Is Among the Most Toxic Plastics to Make:
The process of making plastics
consumes a mindboggling
244
million tons of toxic chemicals. In addition to styrene, polystyrene is
made from benzene, another carcinogen. There is now a new tool, the Plastics Scorecard, that has
See the US Department of Health and Human Services,
12th Report on Carcinogens
(2011), which is a congressionally
mandated, science-based, public health document that is prepared for the HHS Secretary by the National Toxicology
Program. The report identifies agents, substances, mixtures, and exposure circumstances that are
known
or
reasonably
anticipated
to cause cancer in humans. Available on!ine at:http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/?objectid=03C9AF75-E1BF-FF40-
DBA9EC0928DF8B15
2
See Styrene Chapter, Air Quality Guidelines-2nd Edition, WHO Regionitl Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2000.
i
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been designed to evaluate the chemical footprints of plastics.3 Five of the ten common plastics
evaluated received failing scores - zero out of a possible 100 points - due to the fact that toxic
chemicals were used at every single stage of their production. But only one of these - polystyrene -
is commonly used for serve food. See attached chart, Addendum A. This underscores the rationale
for targeting polystyrene above other plastics used for foodservice ware.
In the absence of any action at the federal level, dozens of cities and counties have passed laws to
restrict the use of polystyrene in foodservice ware. Many of these laws point to the human health
impacts to workers and consumers. Montgomery County's bill, if passed, would be the first
comprehensive law in Maryland, and would become a model for other cities to emulate.
Prohibit Sale of Polystyrene Foodservice Products: Thank you for going beyond the District's
bill by prohibiting the sale of polystyrene packaging peanuts and the sale of expanded polystyrene
foodservice ware products. Allowing grocery stores and packaging vendors to sell polystyrene
foodservice products for home or community use would be a loophole that will weaken the
effectiveness of the law. West Hollywood's law is one that also prohibits the sale of polystyrene
food ware, not just prepared food packaged in it. Sunnyvale, CA's recently passed law (November
2013), bans all commercial sales of expanded polystyrene food containers beginning April 22, 2015,
a year later than its ban applicable to food service establishments. When the American Chemistry
Council testified at the DC City Council's hearing, they pointed out the loophole in the District's law.
Glad you are closing it.
Strengthen Bill by Targeting All Polystyrene for Foodservice Ware:
If
anything, you could
Strengthen the proposed bill by targeting all types of polystyrene used to serve food and beverages.
All types of polystyrene, #6 resin code, are made from styrene and benzene and pose health
dangers. Cups, take-out containers, and plastic cutlery are frequently made from a clear, white or
colored non-foam rigid type of polystyrene. West Hollywood (CA), The City of South San Francisco
(CA), the City of Hermosa Beach (CA), and Brookline (MA) have laws that go beyond expanded
polystyrene to cover the rigid form as well. Because of the health concerns of eating off a product
derived from a material anticipated to cause human cancers, all forms of polystyrene for
foodservice should be banned. Consider that styrene is directly soluble in alcohol and that the
popular blue, red, and yellow polystyrene cups (made by Solo Cup) are the standard choice for
serving beer at parties.
A Word about Encouraging Use of Reusable, Recyclable, or Compostable Foodservice Ware:
Glad that this bill, like DC's, requires single-use foodservice ware to be recyclable or compostable
starting January 2017. Other cities have done this too. Seattle passed its foodservice packaging
restrictions in two phases. Phase I restricted use of polystyrene. Phase 2, implemented 18 months
later, required foodservice packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.4 Virtually all
foodservice establishments now use compostable ware for take-out prepared foods and even food
trucks have bins to collect food waste and compostable ware. See photos in Addendum B. The
private compost facility serving the Seattle region - Cedar Grove Compost- is one of the most
comprehensive information sources on compostable products, and works directly with the City to
label products effectively and to educate citizens.s Dick Lily with the Seattle Public Utilities credits
the biobased products industry for enabling his City's packaging requirements to work, pointing to
a
http://www.bizngo.org/static/ee_images/uploads/plastics/executive_summary_plastics_scorecard.pdf
4
For information on Seattle's food service packaging requirements, visit
htt;p://www.seattle,goy/util/forbusinesses/solidwaste/foodvar<lbusinesses/commerctal/foodpacka~jngrequjrements/.
Ordinance 123307, which took effect June 19, 2010, permits Seattle Public Utilities to issue director's rules for temporary
waivers to the food service ware and packaging requirements set out two years ago in Ordinance 122751.
s See Cedar Grove's web site at http://cedar-grove.com/commercialfaccepted-items/
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the wide availability of compostable service ware, which went from
70
products to
700
in 3 years,
and now has reached more than
4,780,6
However, this part of the bill will only be effective
if
there are places to compost compostable
products. Most food scraps and compostable ware collected in Maryland has been going to a very
large scale facility in Delaware. This facility has been having problems and underscores the need for
close-in locally based composting. I urge not only to pass this bill but also to look at policies to
advance comprehensive locally based composting in the county.
6
See Addendum B to this testimony; and the Biodegradable Products Institute web site at
http:/ /products.bpiworld.org/ companies/ category/foodservice
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Addendum A
4
I
Clean Production Action
The
Plastics Scorecard
(Version
LO)
FIGURE Es-1
Progress to Safer Chemicals in Polymer Manufacturing
Most
Benign
100
Polylactic Acid
58.33
Polyethylene
50.00
Polypropylene
50.00
I
50
Ethylene
Vinyl
Styrene
Butadiene
Rubber
0
Acrylonitrile
Butadiene
Styrene
0
Polyethylene
Terephthalate
8.33
Polyvinyl
Chloride
- 0
Acetate
16.67
l
Polycarbonate
Polystyrene
1
I
I ···
'
'
'
Most
Hazards
0 ..,___ _ _ _,
Less
Production
1
1-----
More Production
0
For each manufacturing step, no core chemical inputs are chemicals
of high concern as defined
by
Green5creen• Benchmark 1.
Some manufacturing steps include chemicals of high concern
as defined
by
GreenScreefl• Benchmark I, and othets do not.
Every manufacturing step involves the use of chemicals of high
concern
a~
defined
by
Greef'!Screen" Benchmark 1.
a
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Addendum B: Local Government Policies Make a Difference
Consider Seattle: Composting Infrastructure Well Established throughout City
(in part due to City's foodservice packaging requirements)
Fast food, outdoors.
The restaurant scene, so to speak.
~ ·--~:·;~
'
-
-
Street fairs and summer festivals
are no exception.
What made it work?
1. A strong regional composter. ·
Q
Based
on established residential
Food
and
Yard Wiste
collection.
2. Product testing
to
prove
compostab!lity.
Cl
So restaurants know what they can use.
3. Strong drive to increase commercial food
. waste collection for composting.
Q
SynerCY
with
front-of house compostable• dllposal in quick serve
restaurants (OSRs).
4. Thanks
to
industry, increasing availability of
compostable service ware.
Q
From 70
to
?00 produas In 3 year<.
What made it work?
5. Lots
Of
outreach to restaurant and
packaging industries.
IJ
Product fairs and
worbhops
when!
MW
Pfl)duc:t>
were
shown;
Q
~..-..-brought-~.~·,,.;
dimibvttm
loeether;
IJ
Direct
mall
bl:I
Suttle
food service
businesses -
inc:lud'm&
institutions.
0
1l9iUlar
presena.
ot
restaurant
industry trade
silo.,.;
0
Thousands
of
.ite
mtts
-stilll
0 And
a
hrw
fin., for
EPS
use.
7. Talking to the public.
6. Local curbside and commercial
recycling systems that accept coated
papers and nearly all plastics.
Source: Dick Lily, Manager for Waste Prevention and Product Stewardship, Seattle Public Utilities, "How Local
Government Policies Can Impact The Biopolymers Industry: Seattle's Regulation of Single-Use Food Service
Packaging,
n
Presentation at the International Biopolymers Symposium, San Antonio, October
15-17, 2012.
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Addendum B:
This
is Seattle.
Why
Not Montgomery Co.?
-
\Nestlake Center food court
-
Cafe
Vita
Coffee
-
Northwest Hospital
<.
Seattle University campus
Seattle
University
·
-
.
Seattle University
.
-
--;
·"'
Qwest Field s'"..adium
-
Festivals
&
Events
-
::
_
-
-
Cafe
Zurn Zurn
4
~
'-
·:;,.
·,
. ,,
~
U\N
Hus!-)' Stadium
,_
~-
-
.
'
-
.
- Cherry Street Coffee
.
.
·
-
:-
~arecoi=ield
; _
,.
_:
.
:
,
:
Metropolitan Market
,
--~
'
~
-
- * -
'
.
-
Flair Taco - taco truck
.
- ·_ -
'-'
,._ ,+ _"'
Rancho Bravo taco truck
.
:
_
~
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McDonald's
~
_
Northgate Mall
- -
--- - -
Dick's Drive
In
."
-
'
-
_
Kidd Valley
_
Key Arena at Seattle Center
·"
-
Starbucks Coffee
_
'
-
'
-
'
Subway
,
Po Dog's hot dog
cafe
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Testimony on Bill #41-14 -
Solid Waste (Trash) - Food Services Products -
Packaging Materials - Requirement
Position: Support
Trash Free
MARYLAND
Good evening, my name
is
Julie Lawson. I am the director of the Trash Free Maryland Alliance, a network of
more than 60 organizations and businesses dedicated to reducing trash pollution through a common policy
agenda. We strongly support the proposed ban on polystyrene foam
and
are thrilled by the County's leadership
on
this
issue.
Our members who hold community and stream cleanups can speak to just how much foam pollution they
find
in County streets, parks, and streams, so I just have a few points about implementation of the ban. I am happy to
work with the committee and the Department on any additional research, development of the regulations, and
implementation.
- We
can do
better
than NewYork City. Earlier this year New York City passed a ban, but it
is
delayed for a
year to allow for a pilot effort to recycle foam across the city. The market for food-contaminated foam recycling
is weak and requires costly infrastructure
and
transportation. I hope that the County does not cave
to
industry
claims about recycling which simply serve as a distraction and delay from real progress in cleaning up our
neighborhoods and waterways.
- Work
"With
Baltimore
and DC. Washington, DC, passed a similar foam ban thls summer, to
take
effect the
same day as this proposal. The Baltimore City Council introduced a polystyrene ban in
20U,
with a majority of
councilmembers signing on as cosponsors. It is on hold for now until a stronger plan for business outreach and
public education is in place, but there are opportunities for the County to collaborate on cooperative purchasing
agreements and resources for businesses. Having three large jurisdictions in this region ban polystyrene
will significantly increase opportunities for commercial food waste composting services as well, creating a
regional industry that could
yield hundreds
of jobs while
reducing
the amount of material sent to landfills
and
incinerators. The County has a strong advantage, also, because of resources available through the disposable bag
fund, and capacity within DEP from administering and enforcing the Bag Law already.
- Sustainable businesses support
this measure. Many food retailers already use compostable alternatives as
part of their business model These are the types of businesses that drive further economic development and the
community wants in their neighborhoods. For those businesses yet to make the switch, alternative packaging is
already available from the same suppliers they already use, at comparable prices. At the end of the
day,
packaging
is a small fraction of overall overhead costs for food retailers, but the impact on perception, as well as the
environment, is profound. ·
- Polystyrene
as a
water
pollutant.
One drawback to the a polystyrene ban compared to a disposable bag fee
is
that
this
proposal· doesn't really lead to significant behavior change, only a
change
in
materials. However,
this change is significant for the County's environmental health. Polystyrene
is
special among plastics as it is
the most toxic in the water. It is laden with polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by virtue of its manufacturing
process, which it then leaches into the water.
In
addition, according to research conducted by Dr. Chelsea
Rochman of the University of California at Davis, polystyrene absorbs petrochemicals
like
fertilizer and
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