If cafeteria food doesn't turn your stomach, this statistic surely will: New York City's public school system goes through 850,000 polystyrene cafeteria trays per day. That's about 4 million a week and more than 153 million in a school year. They all end up in landfills. This made some Brooklyn parents mad as hell and they weren't going to take it anymore.
As reported in the New York Times, parents of PS 154 in Windsor Terrace have been working to ban the use of polystyrene in their school lunchroom. Instead, they've secured private sponsorship to replace polystyrene trays with ones made from bagasse - a fiber byproduct of sugar cane. Instead of the thousand years that it takes petroleum-based polystyrene to decompose, the bagasse trays take only 45 days.
New York City Council Member, Bill de Blasio has introduced a bill to ban polystyrene use in the city. Berkeley and Portland (OR) have set precedent by successfully passing similar measures.
Readers with school-age kids - do you know what kind of trays your school uses in its cafeteria?
(Image on right by Kevin Moloney for The New York Times.)