Styrofoam (also known as polystyrene foam) is made from petroleum and takes more than 500 years to biodegrade. Many restaurants use Styrofoam cups and containers for single serving or use purposes, which generates huge amounts of long-lasting waste. In fact, Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year.
Removing Styrofoam from the waste stream prevents it from clogging landfills and escaping into rivers and oceans, where it can persist for centuries and release hazardous toxins as it breaks down. These harmful side effects can be eliminated by purchasing and using Styrofoam alternatives such as paper, cornstarch-based containers, or biodegradable EcoFoam containers.
Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice
- Au Bon Pain
- Bella Luna
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
- Boston Properties, Inc.
- Federal Reserve
- Foley Hoag LLP
- John Hancock
- Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
- New England Aquarium
- Nutter, McClennen & Fish, LLP
- Sheraton Hotel
- The Colonnade Hotel
Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates
Examples in the Boston Area of Eliminating Styrofoam Takeout Packaging and Cups
A Small Sample of Biodegradable Disposable Providers
In The News
- “More cities ban polystyrene foam, citing environment” USA Today, Dec 2013
- “What Are You Drinking- in Cardboard?” NENC, August 2013
- “Styrofoam Alternative” eHow, September 2009
- “Boston’s ‘Green’ Dining Scene” The Wall Street Journal, July 2008