Resident: ‘Ban Styrofoam’
MONTICELLO, NY — “If you drink four cups of coffee from a Styrofoam cup each day, by the end of a year you will have ingested a full cup’s worth of Styrofoam.” That was one bit of information Sullivan County resident Leora Cassells wanted to impart to Sullivan County legislators at a meeting at the government center on March 14.
Cassells also unspooled a long list of municipalities that have banned Styrofoam, which includes New York City, a number of cities in California and now the entire State of Maryland.
Styrofoam is a toxic pollutant that breaks down into tiny pieces but never breaks down completely. The tiny pieces can be eaten by fish and other animals, often causing illness because the tiny pieces absorb other contaminants in the ocean. Styrofoam can’t be easily or economically recycled in the way that a substitute like cardboard can.
Styrofoam is the brand name of a specific plastic, polystyrene, which is expanded with air to become the finished cups, plates and clamshells. Americans use a lot of it. Americans alone throw away about 25 billion Styrofoam cups