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As someone who eats out a lot (probably too much), I am no stranger to styrofoam take-out containers. For my tenth good deed, I committed to using reusable containers to bring my leftovers home. Of course, there are times when I forget to bring my containers. That’s why for my next good deed I am joining Better World Betty’s mission to get restaurants to stop using styrofoam take-out containers.
Better World Betty, a Charlottesville green grassroots organization, put together a letter encouraging local restaurants to switch from styrofoam or polystyrene take-out containers to more eco-friendly options. You can download this letter on their website so you can send it to restaurants that you love.
Why are styrofoam containers bad?
Styrofoam and polystyrene are made from styrene, a petrochemical. They are not biodegradable and end up littering our parks, streets and oceans. Styrofoam and polystyrene are also not recyclable so they either sit in landfills or get incinerated.
Styrofoam and polystyrene food service products not only affect the environment but also our health. The National Institute of Health (NIH) identified styrene as a “reasonably anticipated” carcinogen in humans. This is particularly worrisome because styrene is known to leach into food and liquids from these containers.
What should you use instead of styrofoam and polystyrene?
Although the best options are reusable containers such as the LunchBots containers that I use, better disposable alternatives exist in the form of biodegradable paper products.
Join me in sending copies of Better World Betty’s letter to your favorite restaurants!
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