We’ve heard it all before:
“I’ll have a large iced coffee and a Styrofoam cup too, please.”
Stonehill students are notorious for this indecency. Ordering an iced coffee or latte and a separate Styrofoam cup to shield our tender hands from the cold beverage. Many students don’t see a problem with this, as sustainable as our school is. And yet, the Styrofoam cups cause nothing but trouble.
Making up eighteen percent of America’s garbage, these cups can sit in landfills for over five hundred years, as they are virtually incapable of biodegrading. They are made with numerous inorganic materials and cause irreparable damage to the ecosystem, and potentially your own health. Heating Styrofoam can release polystyrene, a carcinogen, into the beverage it is holding. This polystyrene is also found lining most paper cups as well. In addition, producing one paper cup creates 0.24 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions.
Ordering one Styrofoam cup each day can create about 23 pounds of garbage each year. Before you order an extra Styrofoam cup for your iced coffee, consider the consequences. Having cold hands for a half hour is not nearly as uncomfortable as having 23 pounds of garbage in your hands.
– Hayley Bibaud