Saturday, February 16, 2013

New York mayor is saying no to polystyrene!

Polystyrene cups found littered in the pond
at Bassett Creek Park
Hats off to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for suggesting a ban on polystyrene, sometimes called Styrofoam.  (Bloomberg pushes for plastic-foam ban in 'State of the City'.)  I hope that this catches on elsewhere across the nation and globe.  I often see bits of polystyrene and Styrofoam littered around the park that I visit daily.  It is likely to stay in the environment indefinitely. Besides the litter effect, some aquatic animals mistake styrofoam for food, which can be fatal.

If instant gratification or quick, cheap and easy are your priorities, this is a great product to use for a fast cup of coffee or as a takeout container. However, if one wants to factor in the environmental costs, it rapidly loses it's appeal.  Thankfully more people and businesses are now starting to consider the environment and sustainability as they make their daily choices.

How cool it was to read about Mia and Sara Hansen, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter, from Carlsbad, California who started a petition to encourage Jamba Juice to stop using polystyrene cups.  They received more than 130,000 signatures, and a resulting commitment from the company to switch to a more environmentally friendly alternative by the end of 2013.  (Jumba Juice: Stop using Styrofoam cups that kill animals!).

In addition to the pollution that it creates while being manufactured and discarded, polystyrene has also long been suspected as a probable carcinogen (Drinking coffee in a Styrofoam cup? Pour it out. Polystyrene can be identified by looking for the number 6 on containers, which include clear plastic clamshells and coffee cup lids.

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