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Let's Make Leonia Styrofoam-Free

Many Reasons to be Styrofoam-Free

  1. Health Hazards

    Consumer Health Hazards

    Neurotoxins: Styrofoam contains the chemical styrene, a known neurotoxin. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry

    Carcinogens: Styrene in Styrofoam is carcinogenic in laboratory animal studies. US Department of Health and Human Services classified styrene as "Reasonably Anticipated to Be Carcinogens". ABC News

    Styrene Leaching: Styrofoam cups and food containers leach styrene into food and drinks when it is in contact with hot drinks as well as hot foods, fatty foods and acidic foods. National Center for Biotechnology Information

    Don't Microwave Styrofoam! When the microwave raises the temperature above 212 ℉, Styrofoam melts and releases styrene gas. Never heat Styrofoam with any food containing fats or solids, like Ramen noodle soup or coffee with cream. Today Show

    Styrene In Our Bodies: Styrene residues are found in 100% of all human fat tissue samples at levels from 8 to 350 nanograms/gram (ng/g). The 350 ng/g level is one third of levels known to cause neurotoxic symptoms. Environmental Justice Activists

    Industrial Health Hazards

    Styrene is used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, and resins. About 90,000 workers, including those who make boats, tubs and showers, are potentially exposed to styrene. Acute health effects are generally irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. Earth Resource Foundation

  2. Environmental Hazards

    Manufacturing Styrofoam is the 5th largest producer of hazardous waste in the US. Earth Resource Foundation

    Styrofoam can't be incinerated; the fumes are deadly when inhaled. At least 57 chemical byproducts have been identified during the combustion of Styrofoam. Center for Fire Research, National Bureau of Standards

    The use of hydrocarbons in polystyrene foam manufacture releases the hydrocarbons into the air at ground level; there, combined with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight, they form tropospheric ozone -- a serious air pollutant at ground level. According to the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) more than 100 million Americans currently live in areas that fail to meet air quality standards for ozone. Earth Resource Foundation

    In North America, polystyrene is typically made from natural gas. Single-use packaging is not the highest and best use of our non-renewable energy resources. The relative cost of polystyrene remains low due to the harmful extraction process known as hydrofracking. Use of polystyrene for packaging supports hydrofracking. Sierra Club

  3. Not Biodegradable

    Styrofoam is not biodegradable. Styrofoam thrown into the landfill today will be around for at least 500 years. Green Living

    In 2003, styrofoam made up 710,000 tons of landfill waste. With landfill tipping fees at $78 per ton, taxpayers and businesses spent $55 million on non-recyclable styrofoam waste. Green Eco Services

    By volume, the amount of space used up in landfills by all plastics is between 25 and 30 percent. -"Polystyrene Fact Sheet," Foundation for Advancements in Science and Education, Los Angeles, California.

  4. Mostly Not Recyclable

    In the US, we throw away 73 billion Styrofoam cups and plates every year. Green Eco Services

    New Jersey does not recycle Styrofoam food containers. Only clean, white packaging materials are accepted at the state's 3 Styrofoam recycling centers.

    Part of the reason local and state governments don't recycle Styrofoam (polystyrene) is financial. "Polystyrene foam is 95 percent air, making it very expensive for municipalities to collect and transport, said Wayne DeFeo, an environmental consultant who often advises towns and counties on recycling. A recycling truck full of Styrofoam cannot fetch anywhere the price of recycled metal, glass or paper products. "It takes up a lot of room but essentially it's all air," DeFeo said. "Moving it around becomes very expensive. You're going to lose money every time.'" NorthJersey.com

  5. Kills Fish & Wildlife

    Styrofoam is a major polluter of lakes, rivers and oceans. It is light and easily carried through storm drains into the ocean. Styrofoam makes up 38% of all plastic pollution in the Hackensack River. NorthJersey.com

    Styrofoam and plastics are the largest source of marine litter and debris. In the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, municipalities spend $59,063,285 million dollars a year on marine debris waste management activities. This translates to a per capita cost of $6.16, and $75,407 per square mile. Columbia University

    Styrofoam breaks easily into small pieces. Fish and wildlife mistake styrofoam for food and, once eaten, it can kill them from internal blockage or from Styrofoam's toxins and poisons (Styrofoam is a pollution sponge). LA Times

    Polystyrene foam is often dumped into the environment as litter. This material is notorious for breaking up into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems. Earth Resource Foundation

  6. We Don't Need Styrofoam

    Cities and Counties that have Officially Banned Plastic Foam (either partially or completely):

    New Jersey
    Jersey City, NJ
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    Rahway, NJ
    Secaucus, NJ

    New York
    Albany County, NY
    Glen Cove, NY
    New York, NY
    Suffolk County, NY

    Freeport, ME
    Portland, ME

    Amherst, MA
    Brookline, MA
    Great Barrington, MA
    City of Nantucket, MA
    County of Nantucket, MA
    Pittsfield, MA
    Somerville, MA
    Williamstown, MA

    Montgomery County, MD

    Washington, DC

    Bal Harbour, FL
    Bay Harbor Islands, FL
    Coral Gables, FL
    Hollywood, FL
    Key Biscayne, FL
    Miami Beach, FL
    North Bay Village, FL
    Surfside, FL

    Minneapolis, MN

    San Marcos, TX

    Issaquah, WA
    San Juan County, WA
    Seattle, WA

    Ashland, OR
    Eugene, OR
    Medford, OR
    Portland, OR

    Alameda, CA
    Albany City, CA
    Aliso Viejo, CA
    Belmont, CA
    Berkeley, CA
    Burlingame, CA
    Calabasas, CA
    Capitola, CA
    Carmel, CA
    Carpenteria, CA
    Dana Point, CA
    Del Ray Oaks, CA
    El Cerrito, CA
    Emeryville, CA
    Fairfax, CA
    Foster City, CA
    Fremont, CA
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Hayward, CA
    Hercules, CA
    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Laguna Beach, CA
    Laguna Hills, CA
    Laguna Woods, CA
    Livermore, CA
    Los Altos Hills, CA
    Los Angeles County, CA
    Los Gatos, CA
    Malibu, CA
    Manhattan Beach, CA
    Marin County, CA
    Marina, CA
    Menlo Park, CA
    Millbrae, CA
    Mill Vallet, CA
    Monterey City, CA
    Monterey County, CA
    Morgan Hill, CA
    Newport Beach, CA
    Novato, CA
    Oakland, CA
    Orange, CA
    Orange County, CA
    Pacific Grove, CA
    Pacifica, CA
    Palo Alto, CA
    Pittsburg, CA
    Pleasenton, CA
    Portola Valley, CA
    Redwood City, CA
    Richmond, CA
    Riverbank, CA
    Salinas, CA
    San Bruno, CA
    San Carlos, CA
    San Clemente, CA
    San Francisco, CA
    San Jose, CA
    San Juan Capistrano, CA
    San Leandro, CA
    San Mateo City, CA
    San Mateo County, CA
    San Rafael, CA
    Santa Clara City, CA
    Santa Clara County, CA
    Santa Cruz City, CA
    Santa Cruz County, CA
    Santa Monica, CA
    Sausalito, CA
    Scotts Valley, CA
    Seaside, CA
    South San Francisco, CA
    Sonoma County, CA
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Ventura County, CA
    Watsonville, CA
    West Hollywood, CA
    Yountville, CA

    See the map at Groundswell.

What You Can Do

Avoid purchasing an item with Styrofoam

Request the store to use a different cup or food container. Alternatives are available. Live Strong

Participate in Leonia's Styrofoam events this fall, and spread the word.