Let’s cut to the chase — Americans were sold a “bill of trash” in the ’80s — Polystyrene (sometimes referred to as Styrofoam) was introduced for grabbing your to-go coffee, soda at the fast food joint, picnic insulated ice chest and a variety of serving containers, even the Cup-O-Soup.
Polystyrene foam is the dirge of our litter, clogging storm drains, creeks, rivers; it’s roadway trash, landfills and ultimately ocean debris. Three decades later, we are all painfully aware of the side effects of this “miracle” food container. The Environmental Protection Agency has recognized that one of the base toxins is “styrene,” a suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin that threatens human health by leaching into food or drink.
SLO FOAM FREE members are asking the City Council to put a ban on the use of foam takeout containers by all restaurants and business, food vendors, caterers, churches, hospitals and schools. The ordinance should also prohibit the sale of any Polystyrene product in all retail stores.
These measures will reduce the strain on overburdened landfills and our exposure to chemical toxins. Once in place, beach clean-up crews, the birds and fish who often mistake this for food, will thank us.