School districts all across the USA are serving school food on Styrofoam (also known as polystyrene) lunch trays. These trays, composed of the chemicals styrene and benzene, are used for about 30 minutes only, then most commonly incinerated or transported to landfills where they take up an enormous amount of space. In New York City alone, 850,000 Styrofoam trays are used per day, which are exported to out of state to landfills and incinerators (except for Tuesdays- see EPA Eco Student blog https://blog.epa.gov/students/2012/02/trayless-tuesdays-in-nyc-schools-inspired-by-a-7-year-old/).
It is time for the USDA National School Lunch Program to address this issue and support the nationwide procurement of affordable alternatives, such as recyclable, compostable, and reusable school lunch trays. All children deserve to eat a healthy school meal on a healthy, non-polluting surface.
see more at www.cafeteriaculture.org