Petition Closed

More than 40 of Portland, Oregon's 85 schools still serve all breakfasts and lunches on Styrofoam trays with plastic cutlery. That's a big problem, because when it comes to environmentally degrading food packaging, it doesn't get much worse than Styrofoam.

The disposable plastic is petroleum-based, a fact that perpetuates our reliance on oil and contributes to climate change. The stuff also doesn't biodegrade, so it winds up sitting around in already-full landfills for years and years (and years and years). Finally, there's just no need for Styrofoam anymore. Lots of greener alternatives exist, including compostable/biodegradable serving ware, plastic crafted from corn, and paper goods made from recycled material, just to name a few.

Portland's Nutrition Services says that it is looking into non-Styrofoam alternatives, and that schools should switch to different kinds of serving ware sometime next year. However, this plan doesn't go far enough. We need to make sure these Styrofoam trays are replaced green alternatives like biodegradable/compostable plastic or recycled/recyclable paper. Please sign our petition asking the Portland School District to put such a plan in place.

Letter to
Director of Nutrition Services/Portland School District Gitta Grether-Sweeney
Assistant Director of Nutrition Services/Portland School District Shannon Stember
It's come to our attention that more than 40 of Portland's public schools continue to serve breakfasts and lunches on Styrofoam trays and with plastic cutlery. This is unacceptable in a city as green as Portland.

When it comes to environmentally degrading food packaging, it doesn't get much worse than Styrofoam.
The disposable plastic is petroleum-based, a fact that perpetuates our reliance on oil and contributes to climate change. The stuff also doesn't biodegrade, so it winds up sitting around in already-full landfills for years and years. Finally, there's just no need for Styrofoam anymore. Lots of greener alternatives exist, including compostable/biodegradable serving ware, plastic crafted from corn, and paper goods made from recycled material, just to name a few.

We know that Nutrition Services is looking into non-Styrofoam alternatives, but this plan doesn't go far enough. These Styrofoam trays and plastic cutlery need to be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives like biodegradable/compostable or recycled/recyclable serving ware. Please put in place a firm plan and time-frame where all Portland schools will use green or reusable serving ware.