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Mayor Pugh Officially Signs Styrofoam Ban Into Law

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- It's official. No more Styrofoam cups or food containers coming from food service businesses in Baltimore without penalty of law.

It's one of the bills signed by Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh Thursday afternoon.

The Baltimore City Council unanimously passed the Styrofoam ban bill last month.

Call it a victory for the students, whose efforts contributed to the success of the bill.

"We talk about the chemicals getting into the food, especially hazardous for our children who are the most vulnerable," Pugh said.

It is largely an environmental concern, with cups and containers ending up in Baltimore waterways and the Inner Harbor.

The Styrofoam not only trashed the waters, but broke up into little pieces, which can be harmful to wildlife.

Businesses get 18 months to phase in the change, and after that, are subject to a $1,000 fine.

It's not only the cups, but also what's in them that was addressed Thursday, as well.

Kids meals are required to come with drinks without added sugar, but parents can still choose soda for their kids if they like.

"We have a lot more to do, but the more we can change the culture and the eating habits, the closer we will get to a healthier community," Shawn McIntosh of Sugar Free Kids Maryland.

Other jurisdictions in Maryland have banned Styrofoam food containers, but Baltimore is the largest city in the nation with this type of healthy beverage legislation.

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