CHICK-FIL-A, WHATABURGER, SONIC: Stop using styrofoam cups!

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The movement against single-use plastic has taken the world by storm, as the Plastic Pollution Coalition predicts the ocean will contain more plastic than fish by 2050. However, this movement has diverted deserved attention away from one horrific manufacturing material still used heavily in the fast-food industry: styrofoam. Fast-food chains such as Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger, and Sonic have relied on styrofoam cups for decades, but as our earth rots with the remnants of the non-recyclable and non-biodegradable pollutant, it is time for that to change. 

America alone disposes of 25 billion styrofoam cups annually, and what’s worse is that all of these cups are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable; researchers estimate it takes over 500 years for styrofoam to decompose, and fills up 30% of the landfill. Additionally, when styrofoam is exposed to sunlight it releases toxic, ozone-depleting chemicals that can cause both environmental and respiratory issues. Styrofoam production is also environmentally damaging, with the styrofoam industry being the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986, and exposes workers to a confirmed lab animal and possible human carcinogen. 

The most readily available, viable alternative is paper, as it would be not only recyclable but also biodegradable; even if a paper cup did end up in a landfill it would decompose much faster than plastic or styrofoam without the risk of releasing toxic chemicals. McDonald’s switched to paper cups in 2014, and since then Wendy’s, Subway, and many others have joined them by switching from styrofoam to paper cups. Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger, and Sonic, it is your turn to do the same.  

Sign the petition for Chick-Fil-A, Whataburger, and Sonic to stop using styrofoam cups and switch to paper. Our planet needs your help!