Success: Styrofoam Banned in Congressional Cafeteria

Target: Robert Brady, Committee on House Administration

Goal: Thank Mr. Brady for his efforts to halt Styrofoam use in the House cafeteria.

The U.S. House of Representatives will no longer use Styrofoam packaging in their cafeteria for the first time since 2011. Styrofoam packaging is destructive to environment and human health. Activists, including those here at ForceChange, have been calling for Styrofoam bans for a long time. Though this ban does not cover a wide area, it is still a step forward. Celebrate this progress and the efforts of the advocates who made it happen.

Styrofoam is carcinogenic and dangerous to the workers who produce it. Long-term exposure to Styrofoam can damage the central nervous system and cause fatigue, depression, weakness, and headaches. The toxic chemicals contained in Styrofoam can also leech out of the cup and into the beverage itself, which can harm the reproductive system and create other negative health effects.

In addition to being a health hazard, Styrofoam also clogs landfills and produces toxic waste. A 1986 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report stated that Styrofoam manufacturers created the fifth largest amount of toxic waste. Styrofoam is non-recyclable and lasts 500 years before decomposing.

The House of Representatives has set an example for the nation by eliminating Styrofoam from their cafeteria. Thank them for banning this dangerous waste product and urge them to continue moving toward a healthier future.


Dear Representative Brady,

Thank you for your efforts in prohibiting Styrofoam in the House cafeteria. Styrofoam is a wasteful product with numerous negative health effects. Hopefully, other governments and businesses around the nation will follow your example and rid themselves of this harmful material. Either way, I applaud you for taking this step forward.

Styrofoam contains carcinogens and the workers who produce it face serious health risks. Long-term contact with Styrofoam hurts the central nervous system and produces symptoms like depression, fatigue, weakness, and headaches. Toxic chemicals can seep out of the cup and into the beverage itself, creating a health hazard for the consumer as well as the worker.

As if this weren’t enough, Styrofoam also rots in our landfills and creates toxic waste. A 1986 EPA report said that Styrofoam manufacturers generated the fifth highest amount of toxic waste. This waste isn’t easy to get rid of. Styrofoam lasts 500 years before it decomposes.

The House of Representatives has a responsibility to lead by example as well as by legislation. I’m grateful to you for fulfilling this responsibility and I call on you to continue the fight against Styrofoam in the nation at large.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Chris Cummings

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  1. don hughes says:

    Now lets ban its’ use nationwide.

  2. It’s a great place to start . . . leading by example!

  3. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Hooray❗️? The rest of the world needs to follow suit❗️?
    Signed & Shared.

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