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Foam cups at Dunkin' Donuts will soon be history, removing what the company estimates will be a billion of them each year from the waste stream.

After 57 years, the truths in Rachel Carson’s environmental science book “Silent Spring” ring true today. “The most alarming of all man's assaults upon the environment is the contamination of air, earth, rivers, and sea with dangerous and even lethal materials.”

We are still fighting against forms of human hubris for the sake of convenience. I am calling on the state representatives of the environment and transportation committee, as well as the education, health, and environmental affairs committee to support HB 109 and SB 285 (“Foam food container ban moves forward in Maryland General Assembly; state would be 1st to outlaw them,” Feb. 22). These bills prohibit the sale of expanded polystyrene foam food service products, including cups, plates, and “to-go” clam-shells.

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By doing so, this bill will protect public health, our waterways and our environment, all things the Rachel Carson Council and countless others work to protect each day. Why does the council support this bill and the committee should too? This foam absorbs 10 times more pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals than other kinds of plastic. Carson highlights this high accumulation of chemicals as biomagnification. Styrene, a chief chemical component, is a known carcinogen that leaches into hot liquids and foods.

Everyone deserves to eat and drink from containers that are free from carcinogens and other chemicals. The Rachel Carson Council stands with Trash Free Maryland in urging favorable votes for HB 109 and SB 285. We urge you to vote yes.

Maggie Cummings

The organizer is Maryland Organizer of the Rachel Carson Council.

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