By Laurie Jay (Sponsored by Creation Care Ministry)
Why take a moment to focus on Styrofoam a week before we celebrate Christmas? Because during this treasured time is when we encounter it on a far greater scale. This week, our Creation Care Ministry would like to share a few facts as well as offer information on how you can recycle it right here in Collin County. First, a few facts to show why it matters:
- Styrofoam is one of the most unfriendly types of waste that exists impacting our land and marine eco-systems and recirculating back into our food chain.
- The styrene monomer from which it is made is suspected of causing cancer and respiratory problems. When used with food products, especially when heated, Styrofoam releases toxic chemicals into the food causing contamination hazards.
- When exposed to sunlight, Styrofoam creates harmful air pollutants which contaminate landfills and deplete the ozone layer.
- It’s unknown how long it takes for polystyrene to biodegrade. Some experts estimate the decomposition of Styrofoam to 500 years.
- Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the world.
Nine years ago, after considering the impact and potential health risks, Trinity replaced the use of Styrofoam cups and bowls for Sunday morning service with biodegradable paper ones. Many of you kindly left a few dollars in the “It’s the Little Things” jar towards that effort. One reason Styrofoam is so universal is because it’s much cheaper.
It’s best to avoid Styrofoam, but when we can’t, where do we take it? Just down the road in Frisco and Allen! Frisco’s Environmental drop-off is located at 6616 Walnut St. They accept a whole list of hard to recycle items Monday-Saturday. Visit their site: https://www.friscotexas.gov/1144/Environmental-Collection-Center.
In Allen, there’s the First Saturday Styrofoam Recycling Drop-Off run by volunteers and open to all, regardless of residency. They accept clean egg cartons, meat trays, fast food clam shell containers, cups and packing materials. Packing peanuts and certain other packing materials are not accepted. See a list of upcoming events on the group’s Facebook page.
Consider setting a bag in a storage area of your home to collect Styrofoam packaging throughout the year. When you’re going to Frisco, pull into the center and drop it off. The drop off in Allen may require a little more planning.
The Creation Care Ministry wishes you and yours a very safe and Merry Christmas!