WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTIC AND STYROFOAM?
Plastic particles, straws and Styrofoam are killing our wildlife.
- Great plastic garbage islands the size of Mexico have been found floating in the Pacific. That is only the tip of the iceberg since 70% of waste sinks to the bottom.
- Plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam don’t decompose but rather break down into tiny pieces the size of a grain of rice that float in the ocean and surface waters.
- 18 billion pounds of plastic entering the ocean kill 1 million animals every year.
- Sea turtles and albatross are in danger of extinction from eating plastic.
- At current rates of pollution, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
- Plastic particles are found even in Minnesota’s remote lakes.
- Fish are preferentially eating plastic and Styrofoam particles, causing them to feel full, starving to death. The toxins contaminate the whole food chain, even us!
Plastics and Styrofoam are harming our climate and environment.
- Plastics, made from petroleum, give off greenhouse gases, methane and ethylene.
- Switching from plastic to reusable bags would reduce greenhouse gases by 50%.
- Styrofoam production releases 57 chemical byproducts that harm our environment.
- Styrofoam manufacturing uses hydrofluorocarbons, which harm the ozone layer.
Plastic and Styrofoam give off chemicals that cause serious health problems.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride), Phthalates and BPA get into the food we eat from plastic containers and plastic wrap, personal care products and toys that children put in their mouths. Plastic we ingest causes endocrine disruption, cancer, impaired immunity, and gender neutrality, to name a few.
- Plastic bags production releases dangerous toxins such as dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead and cadmium that are found in our blood and tissue.
- A recent study found that people ingest an average of 5 grams of plastic a week, the equivalent of a credit card.
- The largest source of plastic ingestion is drinking water bottled or from the tap.
- The chemicals dioxin and styrene in Styrofoam take-out containers leach into our food, harming human health and reproductive systems.
OPPORTUNITY FOR MANKATO
Mankato as a green step city has the opportunity to be a leader in Minnesota to phase out the use of plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam by passing an ordinance.
PLACES THAT BANNED/PUT A FEE ON PLASTIC BAGS, STRAWS AND STYROFOAM:
PLASTIC BAGS BAN
States of Hawaii, California, New York, Vermont, Maryland, Maine, Territories of Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, US Virgin Island, Puerto Rico. Over 200 Counties and Cities.
The European Union Deadline of 2020 to End Single Use Plastics.
Corporations like Kroger, Savers, McDonalds, Starbucks, Aldi’s (charges 8 cents a bag), and HyVee (gives credit for bringing your own bag)
Maine; Maryland; New York City; Washington, D.C.; Seattle; San Francisco and many more municipalities ban food services, stores and manufacturers from offering single-service Styrofoam foam articles or polystyrene loose fill packaging.
Corporations and Institutions like Alaska Airlines, Bon Appetit food service company, Marriot in Britain, Chicago Art Institute, The Getty Museum, Vassar College, St. Louis Washington University, the University of Portland, Vancouver, Scotland, Taiwan, Britain Seattle, Edmonds
California, New York, Hawaii (pending straw ban legislation). New Jersey Monmouth Beach. Florida Miami Beach and Fort Myers