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The Truth About Styrofoam

The Truth About Styrofoam It might keep your coffee hot without burning your hand, but plastic foam - more commonly known as Styrofoam - is one of the most harmful materials around when it comes to the environment. This petroleum-based plastic has gained a lot of negative attention in recent years, prompting bans in many cities such as New York City and Washington D.C. Plastic Foam Production Did You Know? Plastic foam is made The manufacturing process th of polystyrene was rated as the from nonrenewable The term Styrofoam is actually the trade name of polystyrene foam created by the Dow Chemical Company. What nearly everyone calls "Styrofoam" is actually not Styrofoam at all! crude oil. 5th largest source of hazardous waste by a 1986 EPA report. 680 million tons of greenhouse gas is produce of plastic foam are emitted to 5 produced each pounds 10,000 plastic foam cups. year in the U.S.? Use & Disposal In The Landfill 2.3 It takes at least of the plastic foam produced each year end up in the landfill.? 500 million tons Plastic foam is used for food containers, some egg cartons, craft materials, home insulation, product packaging and more. years for plastic foam to break down, 25 A plastic foam cup you use today will be around until at least billion Plastic foam the year 2515! coffee cups alone are thrown away each year.? However, plastic foam never truly biodegrades and could be around for more than 1 million years. That's enough cups to circle the earth 436 times!? In The Ocean Plastic has been confirmed in the 6 out of 7 species of sea turtles. stomachs of Plastic foam can easily blow from disposal sites and travel through storm drains and gutters to reach the ocean. 80% of all sea turtles have 50% ingested plastic. of marine trash originates from urban runoff, litter- Plastic can be lethal to marine animals, causing blockages and tears in the digestive system, or even releasing toxins. ing and landfills." What About Recycling? is less than While the technology to recycle plastic foam exists, few recycling facilities have the equipment. 1% of all plastic foam is currently recycled. Human Health Impact Plastic foam contains toxins such as benzene and styrene which can be harmful to human health, especially during manufacturing and when the foam is heated. Benzene Styrene Is a known carcinogen and is a More than 90,000 workers face exposure to the effects of styrene, a material in plastic foam. Styrene is a suspected carcinogen, and exposure can cause irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems. threat to human health and reproductive systems. It can leach from the container into food when the container is heated. This may also be concerning for people who drink tea or coffee in a plastic foam cup. In a 1986 EPA study, styrene was detected in the fat tissue of every man, woman, and child tested. Cities Taking Action Many cities such as Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, and more have enacted a full or partial ban on plastic foam in public facilities. o If cities as large as NYC and D.C. More recently, Washington D.C. passed the Sustainable DC Omnibus Act of 2014 which can make it work, then so can includes a ban on plastic foam in restaurants and businesses.10 smaller places! More cities get on board with plastic foam bans each day due to community interest. Alternatives to Plastic Foam Choosing alternatives over plastic foam whenever possible makes a huge difference over time! On The Go When Shipping For Parties At the Grocery Store At Home Pick disposable plates made Choose eggs in a paperboard carton and get fresh cuts of Look for earth-friendly Use biodegradable foam or plant-based Choose biodegradable packing peanuts plastic cups, or carry made from corn starch. from plant-based insulation and avoid foam craft supplies your own stainless steel or ceramic mug. materials. meat rather than ones such as wreath forms. packed on foam trays. SOURCES 1. 2. 3. W3TIBJ9dff8INlumPQvHSI/story.html 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. WHEELS O FOR WISHES

The Truth About Styrofoam

shared by wheelsforwishes on Nov 28
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Plastic foam, or styrofoam as it is often called, is one of the more harmful materials around for the environment. Not only is it made from carcinogenic materials such as benzene and styrene, it also ...


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