It's plain to me that our oceans are awesome. From Beach Boys songs to family memories on the beach, every Californian identifies with the Pacific Ocean. So, it makes it pretty rough to know that year after year (and for decades) we've been trashing it with non-biodegradable plastic and Styrofoam.
On the other hand, knowing how awesome our oceans are, and knowing how important it is to protect them, it all makes news like this that much better: McDonald's, arguably America's most iconic fast food chain, is launching a pilot program to phase out Styrofoam coffee cups.
An article on GreenBiz.com today, outlined that the "company is launching a pilot program to phase out polystyrene beverage cups (McD's long ago gave up Styrofoam for its food packaging, but hot beverages have still been served in polystyrene)."
This is a huge win for the ocean. The company's pilot program includes over 2,000 stores on the west coast going Styrofoam-free. Here at Environment California, we're hoping the program will soon spread across the country and world.
California cities have been leading the way on the fight to get rid of Syrofoam. Over 50 cities in the state and now over 100 cities nationwide, as GreenBiz.com reports, have passed a ban on the stuff, opting for healthier and more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Polystyrene plastic, or Styrofoam, has been polluting our ocean for decades, and it's time to move on. It doesn't biodegrade, but instead breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces making it impossible for marine life to avoid. Not only that, but styrene, a chemical in polystyrene, has been dubbed a possible cancer-causing chemical, or carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
We can do better than Styrofoam. Way to go McDonald's. This is a huge step in the right direction for our ocean and for our health.