What’s happening?

A new report shows that only 2.2% of plastics are recycled in Baltimore. Meanwhile, 47% is burned at a trash incinerator in South Baltimore, which is the city’s largest source of industrial air pollution. The rest is left in landfills. 

Who’s rallying against this?

Groups are calling to ban the burning of single-use plastics at the incinerator to cut down on ​​highly toxic emissions in the area. They’re also advocating for laws that make polluters pay. 

“What my generation is experiencing is the toxic effect that comes with burning and burying single-use plastic,” said Carlos Sanchez, a youth leader at Lakeland High School, who participated in a virtual advocacy event and is encouraging residents to sign this online petition.

What’s the city government doing?

James E. Bentley II, a communications director at the Department of Public Works, said the burning ban isn’t feasible. Instead, he said single-use plastic products should be banned altogether, which should be mandated by the state of Maryland. 

Baltimore officials are also rolling out initiatives to make recycling more accessible and equitable across the city. 

You can read more here