Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recyclable Styrofoam?

I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I will be honest...I used a styrofoam cup when we were away for Christmas. Chris and I stopped at McDonalds for breakie. Not my top choice for food, but he was hungry and that's what was available. I ordered a hot chocolate after I peeked at their cups and determined that they were not styrofoam. (I avoid styrofoam at all costs, even if it means I have to stay hungry for a while). I got my cup of cocoa and sat down at our table. When I took the lid off the cup, it made that telltale squeak, and I realized that the cup was, in fact, styrofoam, but it really, really didn't look like styrofoam (I realize that I'm using the word styrofoam WAY TOO MUCH in this post, but we use WAY TOO MUCH styrofoam anyway, so let my overuse of the word represent the world's overuse of the product). Most of the styrofoam cups I've seen have a lip at the top about an inch wide and are, white. This cup had a very small rim, like most of the paper cups we see, and it was brown, with a seam down the side. It was REALLY HARD to tell that it was styrofoam. I bit the rim a little bit to see if I could tell, and sure enough, it became aparent that I was NOT drinking from a paper cup. They cleverly disguise the cup with a sticker around the entire thing!!!

Now, after I made this gruesome discovery, we saw that the bottom of the cup has a recycle symbol on it with a #6 (polystyrene). Which lead to a healthy discussion about recycling, recyclable materials, etc... Yes, styrofoam is recyclable, but it is very difficult to find a place that actually accepts it. There is so much of it in the world that no one wants it for recycling. Also, a lot of people, like me, probably think that the cups are paper, so they get tossed, not recycled. And if they knew that the cups were styrofoam, they'd probably not recycle them anyway because, again, it's very hard to find a place that recycles them.

I'm BEGGING you to spread the word if you read this post (and if I have made any false assumptions or stated anything that is not a fact, please let me know!), and to drive right by McDonald's. They're going to keep using styrofoam until we take a stand.

Also, Dunkin' Donuts uses styrofoam, so please consider choosing another place like Tim Horton's or Starbucks. As far as I know, they use paper cups. Thank you!

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