CHS Food Cart uses Styrofoam cups
By Josh Elmer
Oh mixed signals. Center for Health Sciences snack bar, did you not get the memo? The Ithaca College campus is trying to go green. We know what you’re doing—the plastic foam cups for coffee. Did you really think you were going to get away with it? The plastic foam cups are really bad for our environment. Even worse than that, they’re really bad for our new-and-improved environmentally-friendly image.
I don’t think you really understand the gravity of the situation. The foam is actually plastic injected with HCFC, CFC 11 or CFC 12, which are all chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCS. You know, the gases that slowly eat away at the ozone layer. Plastic foam is made with and oftentimes secretes the harmful chemicals Benzene, Styrene and Ethylene, all three of which are carcinogens.
Twenty-five million foam cups are thrown away each year. How many do you think we contributed to that 25 million? Did you know that foam never biodegrades? NEVER. These foam cups are going to be on the planet forever, or at least for 500 years. Plastic foam takes up to 30 percent of space in landfills. It is impermeable, which allows water to form into puddles that soak garbage. During periods of heavy rain, these puddles of water flow out of the landfill and make their way into the groundwater. So not only does the plastic foam pollute with its own chemicals, but it’s a gateway polluter: It allows other chemicals to as well.
I understand that plastic foam cups are really awesome. It totally keeps the coffee piping hot, but you and I know that the benefits do not outweigh the costs—especially because that piping hot coffee doesn’t just have cream and sugar in it. I’m not just picking on you because you’re using the cups. It’s just that we have an image now. We’re trying to be environmentally friendly and you’re screwing it up. I don’t want to sound mean, but you need to clean up your act.