Styrofoam out of Schools

Board of Education
Howard County Public School System
10910 Route 108
Ellicott City, MD 21042

December 3rd, 2012

To: Board of Education of the Howard County School System

We, the undersigned school staff, students and community members respectfully request that the school system replace polystyrene (styrofoam) school lunch trays with biodegradable sugar-cane pulp trays and that the sugar-cane pulp trays be composted along with school food waste. 

The polystyrene trays the school system currently uses pose risks to the environment and to the health of our community. The main material in the tray has been identified as a possible human carcinogen and found to cause a number of negative health effects. Polystyrene trays cannot be recycled so they cause a buildup in landfills; about 870,000 tons are disposed of annually.

By composting trays and food waste in all Howard County Public Schools, the system has the potential to save up to $358,000. Thus, we see this change as beneficial and feasible and urge the Board to implement it swiftly.




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