Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a petroleum-based product that is frequently used for food packaging purposes. This material is currently non-recyclable and non-biodegradable (i.e., unable to decay into constituent substances). Because of its inability to decompose, food service EPS waste is consuming an ever-increasing amount of space within landfill facilities. Moreover, EPS waste products are detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the general public, as well as the ecosystem, for reasons which include, but are not limited to, the following: 1) EPS litter is capable of lasting indefinitely within the urban landscape, thereby contributing to urban blight; 2) EPS that enters the ocean, through both direct and indirect means, deteriorates the quality of ocean waters and adjacent beach areas, which in turn endangers public safety, discourages tourism, and jeopardizes the local economy which depends on tourist trade; and 3) EPS threatens the fragile ecological balance as marine and terrestrial wildlife often perish after ingesting EPS products.
Hmmmm, this doesn’t sound like a beneficial product. Why is it permitted?
Some speculate that because EPS merely breaks down into smaller pieces, rather than its constituent parts, that EPS litter in land and marine environments may actually persist for thousands of years.
For that amount of long-term harm, someone must be making a lot of money.
Alternative products, which are biodegradable, reusable and/or recyclable, are readily available at reasonable cost. Research to date indicates that alternative products cost an additional one to five cents per unit.
Oh good! One to five cents per unit. Good job making money from poisoning the environment needed to sustain life. That’s smart thinking the stockholders can all appreciate!