Ban Styrofoam Takeout Containers

Target: Mike Flynn, deputy administrator of the EPA

Goal: Ban the harmful use of styrofoam takeout containers at restaurants

Styrofoam has been used for years as a way to bring home leftovers from restaurants, even though the threat it poses to the environment has long been known. Styrofoam is another name for polystyrene, a plastic made out of petroleum which is non-renewable. It doesn’t biodegrade and has accumulated in the world’s oceans, which is troubling since it’s now believed to contain human carcinogens.

The leaching of cancer causing chemicals into the ocean is bad enough, but the takeout containers aren’t immune to this. It goes without saying that storing food in a material that may cause cancer is a bad idea, but the risk could be even greater when the food is reheated. The burning of styrofoam is dangerous as it releases the harmful substances into the air. Some short term health effects associated with exposure to styrofoam are stomachaches and eye irritation. These containers need to be banned from food storage uses. Please sign this petition and keep carcinogens away from food.


Dear Mr. Flynn,

Styrofoam is made from non-renewable resources, and it poses a real threat to human health, not to mention the health of the environment. Despite this, restaurants around the country use it for their take home containers. The risks styrofoam poses to humans aren’t fully understood yet, but it’s thought to increase a person’s cancer risk. Even the production of styrofoam is harmful to the environment, as the gaseous byproducts pollute our air.

Styrofoam is used in many applications, and takeout containers may just be one example, but they are the most common styrofoam item in the average person’s life. 58% of Americans eat out at restaurants at least once per week, and right now every time a person doesn’t finish their meal it causes more waste. There are biodegradable options available, made out of sugarcane or other natural plant fibers. Please ban the use of styrofoam takeout containers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Thomas Yuan

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  1. It should be banned. It’s too bad that most companies are not stopping the use of styrofoam voluntarily. Legislating a ban may be the only option to end the use of this toxic material.


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