BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you pick up take-out food, it might be in a different container then you’re used to starting on Thursday.

That’s because Maryland is about to become the first state with a ban on foam containers.

A ban on foam containers went into effect in Baltimore City last October. Joseph Washington, Owner of Charm City Carryout, remembers the switch.

“The prices of the material went up, but the business didn’t slow down at all,” Washington said.

He said customers barely noticed the change.

“People liked it, and I think it helped us more because it made it look better,” Washington added.

Knowing the issues Baltimore has had with trash in the past, Washington said his business is doing their part.

“Everybody needs to work together and help the movement,” Washington said. “Everybody plays their part.”

Handling the cleanup effort is Mr. Trash Wheel who, since his installation in 2014, has picked up 1.2 million foam containers. That’s about 200,000 every year.

Since Baltimore City implemented a phone ban last year, we’ve actually already seen a 40% reduction in farm picked up by Mr. Trash Wheel,” Adam Lindquist, of the Healthy Harbor Initiative, said.

Maryland will be the first to implement a statewide ban on foam containers, which will have a positive effect on the Chesapeake Bay and the environment.

“Foam containers aren’t like other litter,” Lindquist said. “They don’t break down, they break up into smaller and smaller pieces that can be mistaken by fish and crabs as food.”

Other states like Maine, New York and Vermont are looking into similar bans.

Rachael Cardin

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