We respectfully request the Gwinnett Board of Education to ask the cafeteria to stop using Styrofoam trays. The reasons for doing this are as follows:
1- Gwinnett Public Schools currently serve about 150,000 lunches a day on polystyrene foam (also known as Styrofoam). These are made from non-renewable resources, such as petroleum, and are not biodegradable. With over 200 school days during the year, this adds up to 30 million foam trays in the landfill each year, and since they do not decompose easily, they will still be there 500 years from now.
2- The polystyrene manufacturing process is the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste in the United States. In the product manufacturing process as well as the use and disposal of the products, energy consumption, greenhouse gas effect, and total environmental effect, polystyrene’s environmental impacts were second highest, behind aluminum.
3- Due to the ratio of the cost of transit to volume of material, the recycling of polystyrene foam food service ware has proven to not be an economically viable alternative.
4- Polystyrene contains the toxic substances Styrene and Benzene, suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins that are hazardous to humans.
5-There is a growing trend of cities, towns, and school districts nationwide that have banned polystyrene food packaging. Gwinnett is already a leader in nutrition standards and implementing programs like Farm-to-School. Let’s also be a leader when it comes to how the meals are served.
Reusable tableware is healthier for kids and better for the environment. If durable and washable dishware is not feasible, we recommend asking your supplier to offer an affordable, biodegradable or compostable alternative.
Please help us to teach our children not to trash their future.