LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — If a proposal from D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray succeeds, residents and tourists will have to get take-out food and drinks in something other than polystyrene, better known by the brand name Styrofoam.
When they were first introduced, Styrofoam containers became popular with restaurants because of their lightweight, moisture-proof properties. They have since fallen out of favor because they take so long to biodegrade and cannot be recycled.
“This is the next step to address the pollution problems that our rivers and waterways have in the District of Columbia,” according to Keith Anderson, Director of the D.C. Department of the Environment.
If passed by the D.C. Council, the ban would be in full swing by 2018.
Some West Coast cities, including Portland and San Francisco, already have polystyrene bans in place.
The proposal is part of Gray’s larger “Sustainable DC Act of 2013,” which he introduced Wednesday.
Anderson said the ultimate goal of the act is to make waterways like the Anacostia “fishable and swimmable” by 2032.