Ban styrofoam in Medford

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My name is Jules Franks, and I'm and environmental activist and student at Medford High. I have been working closely with the Department of Environment and Energy to ban polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, in Medford. Styrofoam is one of the most pollutive materials and it is among the worst when it comes to biodegradability. It can be dangerous to serve hot food on and should not be used to serve food to anyone. 

Styrofoam takes at least 500 years to biodegrade, and in some cases will not biodegrade at all. Styrofoam is a polystyrene based plastic, meaning it uses petroleum (oil) to produce. So it uses harmful drilling to produce, but it also litters the earth with styrofoam beds that enter our oceans, effectively harming our ocean life. 

Not only is it bad for the environment, but it is harmful to those who work in factories to produce it. Over 90,000 factory workers face the effects of styrofoam, including irritation of the skin, eyes, and respiratory and gastrointestinal system. Chronic exposure can lead to problems with the nervous system, causing depression, headache, fatigue, chronic weakness, and minor effects on the kidney and bloodstream. 

The FDA has not yet approved for hot food to go onto styrofoam, because it can melt the cell and cause trace amounts of styrene to leak out into students' food. Many companies, such as McDonalds and Dunkin' Donuts have made plans to get rid of these harmful materials. We should not be endangering our environment and our students to promote an inhuman material. 

By signing this petition, you are helping to end not only an environmental crisis, but a humanitarian one as well. We, the undersigned, are calling on the Medford City Council asking them to ban polystyrene in our city. 

Best, Jules