Omaha Foam Ban

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BAN IT! Stop Styrofoam in Omaha

Sign the petition to show your support in an act to Ban Styrofoam and other single use foam items in Omaha. Share the petition on your social media accounts and use campaign stickers to spread the word. Let’s get rid of Styrofoam in Omaha for good!

WHY IS STYROFOAM BAD?

IT’S NON-SUSTAINABLE

Styrofoam is a petroleum product—a non-sustainable resource—which creates a large amount of a pollution in its production process.

IT AFFECTS HUMAN HEALTH

Toxic Chemicals
Styrofoam contains the toxic chemical compound styrene, which leaches into food and beverages and affects our long-term health. Due to the prevalence of Styrofoam food containers, the EPA has identified styrene is in 40% of Americans.

Individual Health
The EPA considers benzene, one key component in the production of Styrofoam, carcinogenic for humans because it can cause leukemia. 

Occupational Health
Workers who are exposed to styrene during the production of Styrofoam can experience severe health complications. According to the EPA, styrene exposure negatively affects the nervous and respiratory systems, kidneys, and liver. Additionally, direct contact can cause irritation to the skin and eyes as well as chemical burns. 

IT AFFECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

Never Decomposes
Since Styrofoam is a polystyrene product, it is not biodegradable. This means it will persist in the environment for over a million years, according to Cleveland University.

Air Pollution
The production of Styrofoam utilizes hydrofluorocarbons which cause air pollution that damages the ozone layer. The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research has identified 57 different chemical compounds which are the byproduct of Styrofoam production.

Dioxins Released
Styrofoam contains dioxins which are Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that adversely affect the environment in their solid states. And when burned, they’re carcinogenic to humans and wildlife.

Harms Wildlife
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) the benzene in Styrofoam can dissolve in water and pollute it. Since Styrofoam floats, it easily piles up in waterways. This is especially problematic in coastal cities where fish eat the these floating Styrofoam pollutants and their toxins. The LA Times warned that consuming these fish can be detrimental to human health.

WHO CARES?

In response to Styrofoam’s harmful effects on human health and the environment, cities around the world have banned it.

Cities That Have Banned Styrofoam Include:
New York City, Takoma Park, Seattle, Washington D.C., Miami Beach, Freeport, Portland (Maine), Portland (Oregon), Nantucket, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles County, and many more.

WHY OMAHA?

Food Culture
Omaha has one of the highest rates of bars and restaurants per capita in the world. That’s a lot of Styrofoam takeout containers and coffee cups!

Styrofoam Producer
Omaha is the home of a Styrofoam-producing corporation, so its harmful effects on human health and the environment are close to home.

ALTERNATIVES & SOLUTIONS

-   Avoid single-use Styrofoam items
-   Bring your own containers from home
-   Avoid places that use Styrofoam—vote with your dollar
-   Purchase Styrofoam alternatives like those by produced by Ecovative Design LLC
-   Always recycle when possible 

PRO TIP
Omaha’s own Plastilite Corporation can help you fight back against Styrofoam pollutants. As a part of their Green Initiative, Plastilite Corporation will take your expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam products and recycle them. Visit their website to find an EPS drop-off location near you: plastilite.com.

TAKE ACTION

Sign the petition to show your support in an act to Ban Styrofoam and other single use foam items in Omaha. Share the petition on your social media accounts and use campaign stickers to spread the word. Let’s get rid of Styrofoam in Omaha for good!

 

Further Resources:
Read what the EPA has to Say
Gain More Knowledge about Styrofoam
Recycle Styrofoam in Omaha
Reduce Styrofoam Use
Learn About Styrofoam Bans
Learn About the Effects of Styrofoam
Alternative Packaging Items



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