Styrofoam is a substance that doesn't biodegrade and essentially has no expiry date. It resists compacting and, therefore, consumes more landfill space. More troubling is that Styrene, the basic building block of Styrofoam, is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
A safer, bio-degradable alternative exists, it is made from bagasse, a natural, nontoxic material made out of discarded sugar cane stalks. And yet styrofoam boxes are still the food container of choice in our city. Everyday children consume meals served in styrofoam containers provided by schools, people too busy or lazy to cook rely on take away food that is placed in styrofoam containers, fish and vegetables are imported and sold in styrofoam boxes.
Supermarkets sell raw and cooked food in styrofoam trays.
Huge amounts of this material is unnecessarily used for packaging electronics and white goods, even when recycled cardboard could be used for this purpose.
Many cities in both Europe and America have banned this material. Why is Hong Kong still lagging behind?
If you are a parent, please write to the principal of the school attended by your children and demand action to switch to re-usable or bio-degradable lunch boxes. Both the health of your children and the environment will greatly benefit.
If you get a take away for lunch, bring your own lunch box and ask the restaurant to fill it instead of relying on their styrofoam boxes.
When you shop in supermarkets, choose items that are not packaged in this material, or go to wet markets, where fruit and vegetables are not pre-packaged.