This is awesome! After finally acknowledging that styrene—also known as polystyrene, and better known as Styrofoam—is one of the worst man-made substances on the planet, school districts began phasing it out last month.
Why is Styrofoam so bad? It takes 500+ years to degrade, dissolves into tiny bits that end up in the ocean, is rarely recyclable, and in 2012 was assessed as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen” by our government.
It’s horrible stuff. In 2012, Scientists from UC, Davis, among others, called for reclassification of PVC, polystyrene, polyurethane and polycarbonate as “hazardous” because they’re hard to recycle and most toxic when degrading.
But the Urban Food School Alliance took on Styfoam–and won. Along with partners like the Natural Resources Defense Council, they convinced six of the nation’s largest school districts to replace carcinogenic polystyrene trays with compostables made from recycled newspaper.
Effective immediatley, schools in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami and Orlando will replace the 225 million Styrofoam trays they use to serve three million children each year.
Want to phase out Styrofoam in your home? Click here for three easy tips!