In 2016, roughly half of the over 300 million metric tons of plastic produced was single-use plastic. After use, much of this plastic is often dumped into ocean, polluting the water and harming marine animals. Maryland, along with other states across the country, is making strides to cut down on single-use plastic!
Some local Baltimore establishments are providing alternatives to plastic straws, which make up a large amount of consumer single-use plastic. Establishments including The Laughing Pint, Atwater’s, the Hotel Revival and more have switched to more eco-friendly or compostable options, which include pasta straws and paper straws! Other local restaurants have eliminated straws entirely.
While great progress is being made in Baltimore, it is also happening in other areas of Maryland!
The Surfrider Foundation is leading the “Strawless Summer” initiative in Ocean City, asking residents, visitors and businesses to cut down on plastic straw use this summer. Additionally, Greene Turtle, a signature chain restaurant throughout Maryland, recently ditched plastic straws to protect marine life and will instead offer biodegradable straws upon request.
Polystyrene—commonly known as Styrofoam—foam container bans are also taking place across Maryland!
Prince George’s County and Montgomery County were the first in Maryland to pass polystyrene bans, and in March 2018, Baltimore City Council unanimously voted to ban polystyrene foam containers for food and drinks.
Maryland is taking the positive steps forward, but there is still much more work to do! Continue to reduce, reuse and recycle, while cutting down on your use of single-use plastic and polysytrene foam containers in your everyday life.
Learn about what we’re doing at the National Aquarium to combat plastic pollution within our building!