Polystyrene foam – also known as Styrofoam— is used in everything from consumer goods packaging to take-out food containers.
Styrofoam is a trademarked polystyrene product of Dow Chemical used in such applications as building insulation and craft products. It should not be used in food containers.
Would you take your sandwich home in building insulation?
Thankfully, we are seeing a rise in styrofoam bans across the US.
The New York City Council passed a ban on polystyrene foam food containers, as well as the sale of loose polystyrene foam “peanuts” used in packing. Both go into effect July 1, 2015. Albany County, N.Y., passed a law in November banning use of polystyrene foam food containers, joining the ranks of such cities as Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Seattle; and Amherst, Mass and most recently, Somerville, Mass.
Check out this video Somerville put out a few days ago, announcing the ban and educating on alternatives.
“Polystyrene foam doesn’t break down easily, and it’s easily dispersed by the wind,” creating a litter problem in streets and local waterways, said Garth Schultz, city operations and environmental services manager for El Cerrito, Calif., where the ban went into effect Jan. 1
Even McDonald’s announced last September it would phase out foam cups at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants in favor of paper cups in coming months. It quit using polystyrene clamshell containers for burgers in 1990.
Luckily for restaurant owners there are quality substitutions in packaging, like Be Green! We are happy to replace that toxic styrofoam with an earth friendly alternative that looks better and holds up, but doesn't stick around the Earth for very long.