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STYROFOAM FOOD TRAYS OUT OF NYC PUBLIC SCHOOLS NOW! We, the undersigned, call on Mayor Michael Bloomberg, our City Council Members, and the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to address the serious environmental and health risks of Styrofoam food tray use in NYC public schools by: 1. reducing Styrofoam tray use in NYC schools by at least 20% as of October 2009 2. achieving ZERO Styrofoam tray use in NYC schools by September 2010. Polystyrene, which is commonly referred to as Styrofoam, can remain intact for hundreds of years before decomposing, takes up a disproportionate amount of space in our nation's landfills, is one of the primary components of marine debris, and can be harmful to birds and marine mammals. NYC schools are the nation’s second-leading consumer of Styrofoam trays, tossing out 850,000 per day and 153 million trays per year! What lessons are schools teaching our children by filling the world with such debris We can leave a better legacy, Styrofoam is made with styrene, a chemical which can damage the brain and central nervous system. Styrofoam trays can leach chemicals into the food consumed by NYC school children who eat directly off the trays. Children participating in the city’s free breakfast/lunch program eat off of two such trays a day! In 2006, New York State passed a law requiring schools to use cleaning products free of carcinogens and reproductive toxins. The same standards should apply to Styrofoam trays. Currently, every child is given a tray even if the child only gets a sandwich or milk carton. We demand an immediate REDUCE TRAY USE Campaign to discourage waste. We endorse reusable, non-leaching trays as an alternative to Styrofoam trays. Where this is not possible, we seek use of recyclable or biodegradable trays. To protect the future of our children, we, the undersigned, demand elimination of Styrofoam trays from the NYC public school system as soon as possible.


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