Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future for hundreds of years.

Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff”—cups, plates, bags, containers, forks, knives, spoons and more. All of this waste not only clogs our landfills, trashes our parks, and litters our streets, but it also washes into our rivers and oceans, where it can harm wildlife.

Scientists are still documenting the scope of plastic pollution and investigating its effects. But for decades we’ve known that one of the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam, the kind used in foam cups and take-out containers, which most of us call Styrofoam.

Polystyrene foam is made of fossil fuels and can’t be recycled. It breaks apart easily, but it takes hundreds of years to fully degrade—which means that every piece of foam ever made is still out there and will continue to pollute for hundreds of years to come. Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our future  for hundreds of years—especially when we don’t really need it.

  • <h4>We Throw Away Millions Of Foam Cups A Year</h4><p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we produce over three million tons of polystyrene every year, and Americans throw away an estimated 25 billion polystyrene cups every year, or about 82 cups per person.</p><em>Pam Walker via Shutterstock</em>
  • <h4>It’s Made With Harmful Chemicals</h4><p>Polystyrene is made using synthetic chemicals. Chemicals that may leach out if they come in contact with hot, greasy or acidic food. Yes, they keep your coffee hot – but they may also add an unwanted dose of toxins to your drink.</p><em>cyclonebill, CC-BY-SA-2.0</em>
  • <h4>It Lasts For Hundreds Of Years</h4><p>Polystyrene foam breaks apart easily, but it persists in the environment in tiny particles—and every bit of it ever made is still out there and could continue to pollute our environment for hundreds of years to come.</p><em>pxhere.com</em>
  • <h4>We Don’t Need It</h4><p>Plastic foam bans have passed in more than 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Me. Some companies are also getting with the program. By the end of this year, McDonald’s will phase out foam cups and containers worldwide, in favor of 100 percent recycled materials.</p><em>pixabay.com</em>
It’s Time To Stop Trashing Our Future

We’re calling for a statewide ban on take-out foam cups and containers.

Of course, there are plastics companies who don’t like this idea. Earlier this year, their opposition helped block a bill banning plastic foam containers in California. But across the country, polystyrene foam bans have passed in over 200 cities and other communities. It’s time to take this effort to the next level.

Our national network is partnering with Environment America to ban polystyrene in 19 states across the country. Over the years we’ve worked together to win similar efforts to reduce waste and plastic pollution, from statewide pro-recycling laws to the first statewide plastic bag ban in California. We know how to combine professional research and advocacy with citizen support, and our combined efforts can help us win real results.

Our national network is partnering with Environment America, over the years we’ve worked together to win similar efforts to reduce waste and plastic pollution. Recently California passed the first statewide plastic bag ban in the country.
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