Convince Sonic Drive-In to stop using styrofoam

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As new statistics about climate change and pollution come out almost daily, it is clear that we as humans need to take responsibility to make a change. We are putting our own lives and future on the line, as well as the futures of thousands of plants and animals on the brink of extinction. While significant changes need to be made, every person can make a change in the small choices they make every day, for example, using items that are reusable and/or easy to recycle. 

Sonic Drive-In is a favorite of mine and many of my friends. Unfortunately, they continue to use styrofoam cups. Styrofoam is incredibly difficult to recycle, and there aren't many easily accessible recycling stations that accept it. That means that almost all of the cups sold at Sonic Drive-Ins across the country will end up in a landfill. We do not currently know how long it takes styrofoam to degrade if it ever does. Estimates say at least 500 years. Not only that, but trash in a landfill does not biodegrade naturally. Since the garbage is compacted so tightly and gets incredibly hot, there are not many microorganisms that can survive in that condition and break down our waste. Also, styrofoam can be incredibly toxic to make as it contains chemicals like benzene and styrene, which are carcinogenic (causing cancer) and have to potential to change one's chromosomal make-up. By continuing to use styrofoam cups, Sonic is showing support to the companies that put workers in these dangerous conditions.

In the past, Sonic has claimed that part of the reason they would not change from styrofoam cups was due to consumer complaints about cups "sweating." This is not an acceptable reason, especially now that other large chains have already made changes to be more sustainable. McDonald's and Starbucks have both made changes to the cups they provide, and it's time for Sonic to follow suit. 

Sonic Drive-In needs to switch to either plastic cups that can be easily recycled or paper cups that could be recycled or composted. I have also seen claims about how many trees would have to be cut down to provide paper cups, but this is ignoring the fact that paper can be made from other materials. Some alternatives include paper that has already been recycled, but also paper made from plants that grow much more quickly than trees like hemp, kenaf, bamboo, and cotton. Sonic could also take another hint from Starbucks and allow customers to purchase and bring back reusable cups. With all of these options available, there is simply no reason for a large chain company to continue to use harmful styrofoam cups when it has become apparent that we need to make changes before our planet and its environment is damaged beyond repair. The future of humanity, as well as a multitude of other species, depends on it.