Replacing Styrofoam Lunch Trays in the Cafeterias in the Knox County School System, TN

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Using plastic styrene foam lunch trays (often called styrofoam) is not only drastically harmful to the environment but also causes some serious health risks for students who have been eating hot food off these trays for thirteen consecutive years. One health risk for children, especially those that scrape the bottom of the tray with their fork leading to accidental ingestion of the chemical styrene, is laid out by the US federal health regulators that stated in 2011 that styrene is, “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen." Not only this, but because the material is so lightweight, it is a major source of waterway pollution threatening birds and marine life. Our proposal, however, is to replace this harmful lunch tray material with far more beneficial compostable plates. These plates are much more environmentally friendly, do not have harmful health effects, and are, in the long run, more economically beneficial for the Knox County school district.



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