Letter to the editor: Call for Styrofoam ban
The unsustainable amount of single- use plastics that Americans use every day terrifies me: 150 million tons of plastic produced each year are used only once, and the problem continues to worsen.
Styrofoam, which is very difficult to recycle, is a big contributor to this problem. It makes up a sizeable portion of the North Atlantic garbage patch, and its carcinogenic properties are terrifying. Very soon, just eating fish could lead to an increased risk of cancer, at a level where everyone on earth is exposed.
Although I am worried for my safety now, if nothing is done, this issue will only get worse. I worry about the health of my children and children’s children due to issues that, infuriatingly, can be easily avoided.
There are dozens of alternatives to Styrofoam that are incredibly cheap to make and don’t cause nearly as large of an environmental impact. Ironically, the only thing that keeps humans from easily solving this problem is humans themselves: the chemical industry. The fact that these corporations prioritize profit over the well-being of the human race is one of the most frustrating things I have ever encountered.
Their unwillingness to regulate themselves is the reason I support a statewide ban on polystyrene foam cups and takeout containers, as other states and countries have done.
We must call upon our legislators to support a ban on foam cups and containers.
The writer is an environmental campaign organizer for PennEnvironment and a student at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in urban studies and Japanese.