Patterson joins rally at City Council for banning styrofoam

(Photo: Ms. Hope)

(Photo: Ms. Hope)

By John Dingzon

Ms. Hope took at least two Patterson students with her to a rally at a meeting of the Baltimore City Council on March 9, 2017.  City Councilor Zeke Cohen and the committee urged the citizens of  Baltimore City to work with a group called B-more Beyond Plastics (BBP) to ban Styrofoam because Styrofoam has affected the community of Baltimore City over the course of the years. Many of the City Council, committee, and the citizens of Baltimore City rallied in Annapolis to support the efforts to ban Styrofoam in Annapolis. 1st district Councilman Zeke Cohen said, “Talk to your city district representative and they will also take this fight to the Annapolis.” This led to the Baltimore City Council signing a resolution to support the bill in Annapolis.

B-more Beyond Plastics is a youth led organization fighting to advance public health, environmental advocacy, and legislation to change the world. They have two current missions. The missions are to ban or tax plastic bags in Baltimore and ban Styrofoam in Maryland. A bill to ban Styrofoam was introduced in both the House of Delegates and State Senate this past session. B-more Beyond Plastics testified for both committees. Unfortunately, the bill was not passed. It has been suggested that BBP should gather more information to improve the bill.  

City Councilman 1st district Councilman Zeke Cohen was there along with City Councils and  representatives from several other districts. They participated in the rally and they wanted to urge and pass a bill on to the  Annapolis so they can banned Styrofoam. In his speech, Councilman Cohen said, “We will get this bill passed. If successful in Annapolis, then we will also pass it to other states too.” Cohen represents the district that Patterson High School is in. Students and teachers from a lot of other City schools also came to the rally to protest the use of Styrofoam.

Many of students and teachers wanted to banned Styrofoam because of how it has impacted the environment. Styrofoam harms the environment, and is also piling up in the streets and outside the school districts. Many people would want to use different materials instead of Styrofoam, such as plate metal, and glass plates.

There are 3 million tons of plastic produced every year. 2.3 million tons of that plastic end up in landfills. It takes 500 years for plastic to break down. Plastic that does not reach the landfill can be found littering our neighborhoods and watersheds. Plastic is lethal to marine organisms. 50% of sea turtles have ingested plastic. Also plastic contains toxins such as benzene and polystyrene that are harmful to humans. 

So what can we do? We can use biodegradable foam or plant based products when eating, shopping, shipping, and at home. That means instead of using styrofoam, use paper plates, paper bags at the market, paper board egg cartoons, etc., or better yet, use reusable bags and dishware that don’t need to be disposed of at all.

With files from Ms. Hope.
(Photos: Ms. Hope)

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