Maryland Passes Statewide Balloon Release Ban
Ocean City, MD


  • Beachgoers
  • Improper disposal of trash on land
  • Stormwater sewers and combined sewer overflow
  • Ships and other vessels
  • Industrial facilities
  • Waste disposal activities
  • Offshore oil and gas platforms

Cigarette butts are the most common form of marine litter. Most cigarette filters are made out of cellulose acetate, a plastic-like material that’s easy to manufacture, but not easy to degrade. The fibers in cigarette filters behave just like plastics in our oceans, the UV rays from our sun may break the fibers down into smaller pieces, but they don’t disappear. One solid filter ends up being thousands of tiny microplastics.

Here’s what you can do about keeping those cigarette butts, lighters and cigar tips from spoiling our ocean:

  • If you smoke, don’t flick your butt! Place it in a proper receptacle.
  • Organize cleanups in your local community. Make sure you document your findings with the Marine Debris Tracker App.
  • Be an environmental steward in your own community. Spread awareness about cigarette butt litter.
  • Worried about the smell from cigarettes in your pocket? Purchase a pocket ashtray! These trays can come in the form of metal boxes or vinyl pouches, fit in your pocket, purse, or backpack, and extinguish cigarettes until they can be properly disposed of in the trash.
  • Recycle your butts! Although it is not common, there are a few places, like the City of Vancouver, and organizations, like TerraCycle, that will actually recycle your filters for you. Check to see if there any programs in your area.

For better health and a better planet, we need to ease our ways on the comforts of the disposable culture. It might cause some inconveniences at time but in the long run you will improve your health and even same money.

Plastic contains over 1,000 chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system. The endocrine system affects almost every process in your body, including:

  • Fertility
  • Sleep
  • Blood Pressure
  • Metabolism
  • Grow and development
  • Emotions and mood

In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report saying that some chemicals in plastic, including bisphenols (such as BPA) and phthalates, may put children’s health at risk, and recommended that families reduce exposure to them. Studies in humans link BPA to metabolic disease, obesity, infertility, and disorders like ADHD, Vandenberg says. Studies in animals have also linked BPA to prostate and mammary cancer, as well as brain development problems. Phthalates are known to affect hormones, she says, which means they can alter the development of reproductive organs and alter sperm count in males. (

Choose reusable products made of safer material that is designed to last for years.

  1. Stop buying plastic water bottles. Purchase a reusable water bottle.
  2. Bring your own reusable bags to the store when shopping or ask for a paper bag.
  3. Use paper baggie or wax paper to protect and wrap food.
  4. Keurig users – use a reusable K-Cup or go old school and use a thermos.
  5. Pass on the plastic straw or stirrer.
  6. Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  7. Use plastic free face wash

Marine birds, sea life and wildlife become entangled, or choke on our plastic waste, or mistake it for food. It eventually breaks down into tiny toxic particles, which are eaten by plankton and fish, entering our food chain. A 2015 study estimated that 90% of the world’s seabirds and 25% of fish contain plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, we expect to see more plastic in our oceans than fish.

Maryland statewide Styrofoam food service container ban implemented October 1, 2020

Maryland House passed the Plastic Bag Reduction Act which would prohibit businesses from giving away plastic bags of less than 4 mils (thickness). The bill will now head to the Senate. If passed, the ban goes into effect starting July 1, 2022.

Maryland and Virginia statewide Balloon Release ban

Ocean City, MD siblings, Josh and Emily Blume discarded balloon round-up

California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon and Vermont in banning plastic bags.

Canada bans Single-Use Plastics

Peru restricts Single-Use Plastics - Visitors will no longer be allowed to carry in single-use plastics into Peru's 76 natural and cultural protected areas, from Machu Picchu to Manu to Huascarán, or national museums.

San Diego bans Styrofoam Food and Drink Containers

D.C. bans Plastic Straws

Luxemburg, along with Valorlux, a waste management non-profit, have replaced the country’s single-use plastic bag with the Öko-Tut, an eco-sac reusable bag.

A Mayan village in Guatemala is on the front lines of the movement against single-use plastics in the country. San Pedro La Laguna established a zero-tolerance policy against plastic bags, straws, and containers in 2016— the first municipal law against single-use plastics in Guatemala. The government collected all plastics from community members and gave them complimentary reusable or biodegradable alternatives as well as handmade rubber basket bags. Villagers have returned to ancestral methods using hoja del maxán (large leaves) to package meat and cloth napkins to carry tortillas. San Pedro La Laguna has influenced other municipalities in Guatemala to implement single-use plastic bans, including Antigua.

Costa Rica has become the first country in the world to eliminate plastic bags, bottles, cutlery, straws, and coffee stirrers as of 2021.

Jamaica banned the importation of single-use plastic bags and straws in 2019.

San Francisco was the first city in the U.S. to completely ban plastic bags back in 2007.

Dominica, The Nature Island of the Caribbean has banned non-biodegradable plastics.

Boston is on its way to implementing a dual approach of taxation and bans on single-use bags. Beginning in December 2018, there will be a ban on plastic bags, and a 5 cent tax on sustainable single-use bags

Karnataka, India has banned plastic bags and plastic dinnerware.

In 2017, Kenya implemented a country-wide ban of plastic bags that also falls on the distributors and producers of single-use bags. They even went as far as to implement significant repercussions for disobeying the law, which can include either a four-year jail sentence or a 40,000 fine for the sale or use of plastic bags.

October 2015, stores in the UK began charging five pence per single-use plastic carrier bag. Consumers can avoid this charge by bringing a reusable bag to carry their goods.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) banned plastic bag usage in 2011. Banned plastic bags include all single-use polyethylene polymer bags that are less than 35 microns thick.

The Chinese government responded to widespread plastic pollution by banning distribution of single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and shops around the country.


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