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.