Environmental Responsibility

Environmental responsibility of foam products is among one of GoFoam’s core principles.

Foam Facts:

foam paper cup waste comparison_gofoamDid you know that all polystyrene foam material can be recycled? Recycling could be easy for individual consumers and businesses of all sizes. Foam manufacturers are innovating the polystyrene recycling process for cups, food containers and product packaging. Recycled polystyrene foam can be used to make products such as clothes hangers, picture frames, rulers, and architectural moulding.

 

When it comes to foam, it’s not the product that’s bad, it’s the behaviour – litter in every form mars the beautiful streets and views that Oxford is famous for. Rather than banning foam #6 from Oxford, we should focus on educating people about proper disposal of used packaging all material types for the sake of beauty and ecology.

Foam foodservice products take up less than 1% of total landfill space and only account for 1.5% of total litter.[i]

A foam ban in Oxford is not an effective way to deal with litter and will not reduce costs associated with litter cleanup; rather, it will increase costs for consumers. A polystyrene ban will force individuals and traders to use alternative products, such as glass, aluminum, and paper, which can also create litter. There is no evidence to show that litter-control costs declined in the cities that have already banned foam products because a foam ban will not stop people from littering. Instead, if foam is banned in Oxford, locals can expect to experience price increases at their favourite mobile food units – that is the only impact this legislation will have.

“The amount of litter will not change, only its composition.” – Jean-Michel Cousteau, Environmentalist.[ii]

NOAA research has not shown a clear link between any foam food containers and damage to marine life. Many alternatives to foam, such as plastic-lined paper cups, also do not biodegrade in a marine environment and therefore, are a source of long-term marine litter.


[i] Environmental Resources Planning, LLC, The Contribution of Polystyrene Foam Food Service Products to Litter, prepared by Steven R. Stein, May, 2012, pp 4, Table 1.

[ii]Graph above: JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU, EDITORIAL, TARGET LITTERBUGS, NOT PRODUCTS, TO CLEAN UP BEACHES, VENTURA COUNTY STAR (DEC. 18, 2005)