Won’t be easy but we must kick the polystyrene habit

What should happen with Styrofoam, which is being used in many products but is considered by some to be detrimental to the environment?

According to CBS News, Maine in May became the first state in the United States to ban polystyrene food containers at restaurants and grocery stores.

Styrofoam is the common term for expanded polystyrene foam.

Reduced use of the material could be forthcoming in many areas, including Marquette.

A group called StyroFree Marquette is educating the public about the use of this material that organizer Ron Carnell says is detrimental to human health and the environment.

At a recent meeting, Carnell noted Styrofoam contains styrene, which the World Health Organization has classified as a carcinogen. It also can take up to 500 years for Styrofoam to decompose, plus it breaks up into particles that can get into waterways where wildlife lives.

Carnell is concerned about the prevalence of Styrofoam use in area restaurants.

So are many other people who are encouraging local businesses to use more environmentally friendly materials.

At least one person already is on board: Sonia Stucko, owner of Stucko’s Pub and Grill along Third Street in Marquette. Using more sustainable alternatives to make a healthier environment for Marquette and Lake Superior even could reduce overall costs, Stucko said at the meeting.

What can an individual do to help? Carnell said people can speak with restaurant staff about switching to biodegradable containers.

And they can express their gratitude to businesses that already have made the switch.

At home, people can refrain from using Styrofoam containers and reuse those made of sturdier materials that aren’t discarded after a single use.

It probably took awhile for many people to get on board with recycling, but once it becomes a habit, it gets easier.

We believe people should kick the Styrofoam habit or at least reduce its use.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)