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TELL US: Should Foam Beverage, Food Containers be Banned?

Residents in Brookline supported a move to ban the use of all foam food and beverage containers, a move that was approved at Special Town Meeting.

One group of residents in the Bay State has taken a stand against the use of plastic foam food and beverage containers at local restaurants. 

A Special Town Meeting in Brookline earlier this week voted to ban the use of polystyrene (plastic foam) food and beverage containers for take-out or to-go at food establishments in town. The ban will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2013.

The move came after Town Meeting member Nancy Heller proposed the article due to the health risks involved in the use of the cups. As a result, the move was approved by a vote of 169-27. 

But not everyone was in favor of the move. Canton-based Dunkin Donuts spoke against the measure on Tuesday; spokesperson Christine Riley said that, despite looking, the company has not found a better alternative to the foam cups to keep coffee warm. 

Meanwhile, some petitions have cropped up, such as on Change.org, calling on Dunkin Donuts to cease use of the cups, citing hazards to the environment. Last year, the company said it was looking at alternatives to the material and also weighing the possibility of an in-store recycling program, according to a WHDH report.

But what do you think? Should Westwood follow suit? Or should establishments be allowed to use the material for food and beverage containers? 

Claire Sullivan November 26, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Neither "styrofoam" (expanded polystyrene EPS) nor plastic bags are recycled in our curbside program. They gum up the equipment at the recycling facility, and are too lightweight to be economically recycled by WM. clean plastic bags can be brought back to the grocery or other retail outlets, but there is no practical way to recycle EPS cups and trays. The good thing about both EPS and plastic bags are that they have very little actual material in them, and require less energy and material to manufacture and transport than their counterparts. The bad thing is that they are easily wasted and littered. I pick them up off the roadside nearly as much as non-deposit beverage containers. If they are left on the ground, they u.timately flooat to the ocean, where they absorb chemicals like PCBs, then are mistaken for food by fish and birds. This can sicken or starve them, and the chemicals move up the food chain. So in effect, we are poisoning ourselves by overusing these materials and not disposing them "properly". The best alternative I can suggest is to bring your own coffee cup and tupperware when you go out. If only I could remember to bring them all the time! working on it. I have the reusable bag thing down at lease.

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