In case anyone should have any lingering doubts about the dangers of the recently-banned Styrofoam to your health and to the environment, here are a few points.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS), commonly known as Styrofoam is made from non-renewable fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals. Its buoyancy allows it to float or blow into the ocean, where it is ingested by marine life – some of which we eat, so we are eating our own toxic waste. Not a good idea.
The petrochemicals leach into the foods and soups that we consume. Hot, greasy and acidic substances (eg soup, cream, fruit juice) absorb the most. The dosage is low, but it accumulates.
Styrene is a neurotoxin which accumulates in fatty tissue. It is associated with fatigue, disrupted hormone function, headache, irritation to eyes and nose. Chronic exposure can lead to impaired hearing and kidney function and lung cancer.
In landfills, EPS releases methane gas, which contributes to destruction of the ozone layer, leading to skin cancer.
Every piece of EPS ever made is still in existence: ‘It breaks up bit it doesn’t break down.’ It cannot be recycled. The smaller the pieces, the more impossible it becomes to remove from the ocean, and the easier it becomes to be absorbed by the tissues of the fish that we eat.
Burning EPS releases toxic carbon monoxide. NEVER BURN PLASTICS. EPS in marine creatures leads to digestive blockage, choking and death.
Grenada imports over 30 tonnes (ie weight of 10 elephants) of EPS every year. There is no real way to dispose of it.
We are much better off without it.
Grenada Green Group (G3)
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