Ban Styrofoam in the British Virgin Islands
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Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and appears to last forever. It’s resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from light. This, combined with the fact that Styrofoam floats, means that large amounts of polystyrene have accumulated along coastlines and waterways around the world. It is considered a main component of marine debris.
· Styrofoam is composed of Benzene and Styrene, both of which are known human carcinogens.
· 90,000 workers are estimated to be exposed to Styrene every year. This exposure causes a variety of mutations to the central and peripheral nervous systems.
· Benzene and Styrene have been linked to incidences of both Parkinson’s disease and leukemia.
· The production of Styrofoam is energy intensive, creating large amounts of greenhouse gases. These problems rank the environmental production costs of Styrofoam as second worst in the U.S. by the California Integrated Waste Management Board.
· Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), used in the production of Styrofoam, result in air pollution, causing damage to the ozone layer. They are now known to be 3-5 times more dangerous than originally believed.
Microwaving Styrofoam causes the release of toxic chemicals, which poses a threat to human health.
On Human Health
· Irritation of the skin
· Irritation of the eyes
· Irritation of the upper respiratory tract
· Gastrointestinal effects
· Minor effects on kidney function
· Polystyrene is not usually recycled due to its lightweight nature and the high economic cost of transporting and degreasing the petroleum-based material.
· 25-30% of landfills are dedicated to plastics, including Styrofoam.
· Polystyrene takes at least five hundred years to decompose.
· Styrofoam is the primary source of urban litter.
· Styrofoam is the main pollutant of oceans, bays, and other United States water sources.
· Styrofoam causes choking and starvation in wildlife.
It is time for the British Virgin Islands to be at the forefront in the region and the world when it comes to our environmental protection and the health of its citizens.
- Government of the Virgin Islands UK
Premier Dr. D. Orlando Smith
Thursday June 8, 2017
Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE
Premier of the Virgin Islands, UK
Central Administration Complex
Road Town, Tortola
British Virgin Islands
Thursday June 8, 2017
Dear Premier Smith,
Re: BVI Styrofoam Ban Petition
As you know, your Government has made a commitment to the environmental and public health of its citizens. Over the years, Styrofoam has proliferated itself into our environment as an acceptable receptacle for food and beverage. We now know that by using containers made of Styrofoam, harmful chemicals leak into our foods and beverages and also seep into the ground and air when being disposed of.
Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and appears to last forever. It is resistant to photolysis, or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from light. This, combined with the fact that Styrofoam floats, means that large amounts of polystyrene have accumulated along coastlines and waterways around the world. It is considered a main component of marine debris. Styrofoam is composed of Benzene and Styrene, both of which are known human carcinogens.
Styrofoam is as hazardous to the health of BVI citizens as it is as hazardous to our environment and we urge you to act upon the request of all of the citizens and residents of the territory that have put their names to this letter and petition, to ban all STYROFOAM products from the British Virgin Islands.
BVI STYROFOAM BAN
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