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When we get carry-out from a restaurant or get a coffee to go, most of the time we get it in a styrofoam container. How about that package you ordered from a store, was there styrofoam inside the box? Sure, it may keep your food warm and may be light to ship, but do you know what else styrofoam does?
Styrofoam is made from the plastic polystyrene, which is based on building blocks called styrene monomers. When you drink your steaming cup of coffee or spoon your chicken noodle soup or chili out of a Styrofoam cup, you also take in small doses of chemicals that leach from it. “Trace amounts of styrene as well as various chemical additives in polystyrene migrate into food, which increases significantly in hot liquids,” explains Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (www.ewg.org “This is a problem, because polystyrene is very commonly used as disposable packaging for hot food and beverages” — and has been for many years!
Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Styrofoam is also is pervasive in the marine environment. Like most plastics, polystyrene is lightweight and floats. When littered, it is carried from streets and through storm drains out to the ocean.When polystyrene travels down waterways and storm drains into the ocean, it breaks down into smaller, non- biodegradable pieces that are ingested by marine life and other wildlife thus harming or killing them.
There are many different alternative options such as biodegradable or compostable containers. We need to figure out how we can do better in our own community. Here is a list of cities that have already fully or partially banned styrofoam;
* New York City (and several other cities in New York)
* Takoma Park, MD
* Seattle, Washington
* Washington DC
* Miami Beach, FL
* Freeport, Maine
* Portland, Maine
* Nantucket (City & County), Massachusetts
* Minneapolis, Minnesota
* Portland, Oregon (and several other Oregon cities)
* Los Angeles County and San Francisco, California (and many other cities and counties in CA)
Cleveland is on their way to getting it banned. Let’s set an example by cleaning up our environment!! Please sign the petition and let’s get styrofoam banned from Stark County, Ohio!! ✌�
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