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Styrofoam Container Use On The Rise During COVID-19 Pandemic

The potential harmful effects of Styrofoam containers have been discussed for years.  It’s an issue which could garner additional attention during this period of coronavirus.

The last eight months of COVID-19 have seen an increase in take-out meals and many of those are sent home in Styrofoam boxes. Potential health concerns focus on when the containers are heated where toxic chemicals could leech into food.

The last eight months of COVID-19 have seen an increase in take-out meals and many of those are sent home in Styrofoam boxes. Potential health concerns focus on when the containers are heated where toxic chemicals could leech into food.

Judy Humble is with a zero waste team as a part of a central Kentucky Sierra Club chapter.  She said questions remain about the extent of harm caused to humans.  But, Humble believes an early emphasis on coronavirus transmission through touch fueled increased Styrofoam production. “I think it’s our original beliefs about how the virus was transmitted that contributed to this dramatic increase in Styrofoam and other single use plastics in the food service industry,” said Humble.

Humble said legislation has been filed previously in Kentucky to, over time, ban single use plastics and Styrofoam in eateries.  The Sierra Club member added some restaurants are using alternative bio-degradable take out containers.  But, Humble noted that comes with a higher financial cost.

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