The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. Over 90,000 workers face exposure to the effects of styrene, the material in Styrofoam, each year in industries such as rubber and fiberglass manufacturing companies. Health effects from exposure to styrene are irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems. Chronic exposure affects the nervous system, causing symptoms like depression, headache, fatigue and weakness, and minor effects on kidney function and blood.
Green is in...
Ah - Styrofoam.
This product once revered as the "golden child" of food packaging has quickly become the "poster child" of the current environmental crisis we have created. Our pre-disposition for inexpensive, single-use packaging once let us choose based on convenience alone.
The fact is, today, the damnation of is justified. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. Used in product packages and the shipping industry, the world produces literally tons of it each year. The fact that Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable adds to the ecological impact. Landfills are filling up at a record rate and Styrofoam is a major reason.
We've all seen the images of beaches littered with coolers, trays and coffee cups and it makes us feel terrible. Really, really terrible.
But the greatest tragedy in all of this is: We know better. There are alternatives to styrofoam. And yet so few companies are willing to invest in a more sustainable solution. Until now.
Nature's Fresh based out of Leamington, Ontario has prioritized green in more ways that one.
The company has raised the "sustainability bar" by investing in 100% compostable produce trays that replace styrofoam altogether. The standard sized 2S trays are produced in Newmarket, Ontario by Pulp Moulded Products Inc. and are made almost entirely of 100% post industrial paper waste and water. Through custom tooling, a wet press and a multi-zoned specially timed oven, these trays perform comparably to styrofoam but bio-degrade in 60-90 days in landfill*.
" Sustainable growth has always been our mandate" states President and Owner Peter Quiring. "We've always believed that a superior product is worth investing in and this is the right thing to do...." This same mantra has fueled the company's construction of over 2000 acres of greenhouses in the last 20 years.
As a partner of Nature's Fresh, we're PMP is proud to be offering solutions support the freshest produce yet don't tax the environment.
Consumers can now participate in the choice: to be part of a fresh solution or part of the problem. Supporting leaders of industry is the first step in tackling a massive environmental shift. It's time to vote people. Make it count.
For more terrifying facts on styrofoam see below:
Statistics on Styrofoam (Source: Livestrong.com)
Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. According to Washington University, Styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose; it cannot be recycled, so the Styrofoam cups dumped in landfills are there to stay. With enough Styrofoam cups produced each day to circle the earth if lined up end to end, the potential for major ecological impact is great.
Styrene leaches into foods and drinks served in Styrofoam containers, and according to the Earth Resource Foundation, the manufacture of Styrofoam releases large amounts of ozone into the atmosphere, causing respiratory and environmental issues. In addition, with billions of Styrofoam cups used yearly in convenience stores, restaurants and lunchrooms ending up in landfills, some cities have banned the use of Styrofoam.