End the use of toxic styrofoam in our children's schools

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As parents and educators we teach and guide our children everyday.  But, we all know that children watch us closely and learn more from our actions than our words.  So, when my kindergartener came home from school and asked why her school served meals on styrofoam trays when they are so hurtful to our environment, I didn’t have an answer because I was just as baffled as she was.

Styrofoam damages our environment in several ways.  First, it literally never goes away and will continue to pollute our Earth for millions of years after only being used once for an average of 20 minutes.  Styrofoam is difficult to recycle and there are few facilities that can/will do this. A lot of the time they get incinerated, to save the limited space there is for waste, sending toxic fumes into the atmosphere and the air we breath.  It is also lightweight and is easily blown away where it ends up in our streams, rivers, and oceans polluting and killing animals. Additionally, it may be harmful to our children’s health, “In 2011, US federal health regulators declared that styrene, a component of polystyrene, is “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”

Thankfully, there are other options available.  These include reusable trays and biodegradable trays which would only increase the cost of lunch by 5 to 10 cents and have already been implemented in NYC where they have banned polystyrene completely.  We just need to convince our district that this is important to us and want to make a change for our children's future.

Please take a moment to sign our petition and share with other members of our community to help us convince the Goshen Central School District that the continued use of styrofoam is harmful to our children and our environment and we want it to stop.

Thank you!

Christine Cullen Scheppes & Beth Fox



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