Baltimore wrong to back away from foam container ban

November 05, 2013

I fail to understand the logic of Baltimore's Commission on Sustainability in recommending against banning polystyrene containers, and the City Council should ignore those recommendations and move forward with the ban. ("Council has misgivings on banning foam containers," Nov. 1). It is important to recognize that the continued use of those containers exacts a cost from the public at large whether it is in cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay or in providing additional collections. In effect, the public is asked to pay for the true cost of the use of those containers. This amounts to a subsidy of those irresponsible businesses that cling to using polystyrene containers because they are "cheaper." They may be cheaper to them, but they are more costly to everyone else.

It is time for the City Council to start looking at the true cost of various enterprises, in infrastructure requirements, damage to the environment, contamination, chemical and thermal discharges, etc. All of these things will eventually bring costs to the taxpayer while giving the businesses a free ride.

Giulio Venezian, Baltimore

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