Column by J1 Reporter Bridget McGill
Picture this: You’ve finished eating at a restaurant with your family, but you still have food left. Obviously, you want to take the rest of your food home, so you ask the waiter for a to-go box. The waiter returns to your table, accompanied by your worst fear: styrofoam.
Styrofoam should be banned, plain and simple. While there are several reasons why styrofoam should be banned, the two main reasons are the dreadful sound it makes and the terrible effect it has on the environment.
The first reason that styrofoam should be banned is the horrible scratching noise it makes when it rubs against itself. It sends chills through my body and makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. Nails on a chalkboard? Mere child’s play compared to the sound of styrofoam rubbing together. In fact, the sound is scientifically proven to hurt certain people’s ears due to the frequency of the noise, as well as the knowledge of the noise’s origin.
My family knows how much I hate this sound, so naturally, whenever we go out to eat and have leftovers in a styrofoam box, I have to carry them. This is not because they make me hold them, but because I choose to. If I do not hold the to-go containers myself, I know that my siblings will purposefully rub the styrofoam together just to spite me. We like to give each other a hard time, but it is all in good fun.
While styrofoam does make an awful sound, the most important reason to ban it is that it is truly awful for the environment. Almost all styrofoam is neither recyclable nor biodegradable. It will literally be here forever. Due to these facts, styrofoam is a huge contributor of landfill trash, taking up 30 percent of all landfill space. Because styrofoam is so lightweight, it also floats easily, which allows it to travel long distances in the ocean, spreading waste throughout the world.
If saving the environment isn’t reason enough to convince you to support its ban, please consider the psychological damage it’s done to me through the years. Therapy can be quite expensive.