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.