Letter: Stop using foam trays at school

To the Editor:

Editor’s note: The writer is a third grader at Barlow Mountain Elementary School.

Everywhere we look, we see that pollution is becoming a big problem, and we need to reduce, recycle and reuse; but I see that at school we use foam trays in the cafeteria. Isn’t that odd????

Therefore, I ask your help to communicate the need for us to stop using foam trays because:

  1. It is bad for the environment. It takes a lot of years for Styrofoam to break down.
  2. They are too flimsy and easy to break. Food can fall off the tray when little kids carry them, and they end up very upset and even wasting food.
  3. They are dangerous if an animal eats them (in the ocean). Remember that poor turtle that died because it ate a lot of coins?

Adults always encourage children to recycle but truth be told, Styrofoam is not recyclable, some places don’t even accept Styrofoam. Some schools have big recycle drives where you can donate cans, why don’t we start making big changes at schools to promote a better environment?

Let’s help the planet by using washable trays at the school cafeteria.

But you may ask: “Then what can we do with the foam trays we already bought?” Well, we can use them to put dollops of paint for art class, they are big enough to mix paint, and because they’re lightweight you can use them also to paint on them.

I also read that styrofoam No. 6 is not the safest of all the foams (Cafeteria Culture posted a blog about concerns about foam trays). When heated it can release dangerous chemicals into the air.

I don’t want to make this a very long letter, so this is my point. Do you agree?

Romina Di Pietro

Christopher Road, April 25