We’ve learned about states banning wasteful items, such as plastic bags, but now a new place is trying to prove to us how wasteful we really are. Single-use styrofoam cups and take out containers will be banned from New York City by July of this year, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.
Because styrofoam, also known as expanded polystyrene foam, is not biodegradable, the containers pile up through landfills. In fact, it is estimated that the ban by itself will prevent 30,000 tons of landfilled waste annually.
Blasio assured in a statement that there are better alternatives to styrofoam that are better for the environment, are utlimately less costly, and are even better for our health. It has been discovered that styrofoam actually contains styrene, a synthetic compound that was added to the list of possible carcinogens published by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011.
We all know that most take out food that is contained in these are usually hot and oily, full of acids and alcohols. These are all ideal combinations for the styrofoam particles to break down, causing styrene to leak into the food that we put in our bodies.
However, this ban does not just include containers and coffee cups, but also packing peanuts and insulation material. This is all in attempt to green up the city, and Basio hopes that other cities will follow suit.