We fourth and fifth graders know for sure that Dunkin’ Donuts is a great place! We love having a Munchkin snack and a hot cocoa after school. However, we are concerned about the Styrofoam cups they use. They sell more than 1.7 billion coffees a year, and most of them come in Styrofoam. We have come to a conclusion, these cups are really affecting our lives, your life, and everything you care about. We're going to prove to you that Dunkin’ Donuts has to stop using Styrofoam or else there will be big consequences. Dunkin' Donuts should stop using it because, first of all, it’s bad for the environment. Secondly, it’s bad for animals. And lastly, because it causes human health issues. So, if you work at Dunkin’ Donuts, or if you are connected to Dunkin’ Donuts, please stop using Styrofoam cups by Earth Day, April 22, 2015.
First of all, these cups are bad for the environment. There is a chemical used in making styrofoam called hydrofluorocarbons that can trap up to 1,000 times more heat than CO2. And if there are too many hydrofluorocarbons in the sky, global warming will be a bigger problem. It also takes up 25% of landfill space! Styrofoam is really bad for the environment.
Styrofoam is bad for the environment, so it is also bad for animals. It takes 500 years to break down, and in those 500 years, some animals will eat it. When animals eat Styrofoam, it prevents digestion causing starvation, leading to death. Another reason that styrofoam is bad for animals, is that there is a giant blob in the Pacific Ocean called The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It is made out of garbage that people littered or got carried away by currents. Researchers estimate that it is about the size of Texas. There is a lot of Styrofoam in The Garbage Patch that animals eat by mistake.
Styrofoam is bad for the environment, it’s bad for animals, but it also causes human health issues. 90,000 workers making it could be harmed. The effects are usually irritated skin, eyes, stomach effects, and common cold. If a worker is constantly having contact with Styrofoam, it can cause hopelessness, headaches, sleepiness, weakness, or effects on the kidney. Another shocking reason is that, drinks held in Styrofoam cups soak up a bit of something from the Styrofoam. Scientists found this out by weighing a brand new cup, then weighing the same cup after someone drank out of it. The cup was lighter!
Dunkin' Donuts' website says they are committed to our planet, “We recognize that everything we do has an impact on the environment. From the materials we use, to the way we construct and operate our stores, we are committed to adopting better, more sustainable approaches whenever possible.” We admire this commitment, but believe it is time for Dunkin Donuts to do their part towards saving the world.
There are so many reasons why Dunkin’ Donuts should not use Styrofoam. It’s bad for the environment, it's bad for animals, and it causes human health issues. What this whole thing is about is if you guys would rather have a hotter coffee and save a few minutes, you'd have to be willing to risk your environment and your best friend and your family. If you would, that’s too bad, but think about it. Please help us ask Dunkin' Donuts to switch to more Earth friendly cups by Earth Day, April 22, 2015.
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*Thanks to Paul Kalinka in Michigan for letting us join our petitions!