Sunday, January 5, 2014

Big Apple Bans Big Pollutant

New York City Council has voted unanimously to ban the use of styrofoam, making it the largest US city to do so.
Polystyrene foam is a devastating pollutant infecting our parks and waterways which never biodegrades, and has been classified as a carcinogenic health hazard by the US National Institute of Health.
Statistics show New Yorkers throw away 23,000 tons of styrofoam a year. When you consider the light weight of styrofoam, 23K tons must be a veritable MOUNTAIN of the stuff!
Most styrofoam ends up in landfills where it sits for literally 500 years or longer. It's the only thing in the world that lives longer than cockroaches...or Cher.
Portland in Oregon had the first ban (enacted in the late 1980s) and, in following years, over 100 US cities either have a law in place or are working on one. Other major cities include LA, Oakland, Santa Monica, Seattle, and San Francisco. Philadelphia is working on one currently.
The NY ban takes effect in a year, unless it's proved that styrofoam is recyclable... which isn't likely.
Here's a link to a growing list of US cities and counties that have banned styro...
In NZ, we use styrofoam in everything from home insulation to food packaging, drinking cups to toys...isn't it time we too decided to find a recyclable alternative?

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