The Young Activist Club successfully advocated to eliminate polystyrene lunch trays in Montgomery County (MD) public schools. We have been working to stop polystyrene for foodservice ware for many years. Polystyrene (resin code #6, also known as styrofoam) is bad for the environment and our health as it is made from styrene, a known neurotoxicant and reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen. We are actively raising awareness in our community about polystyrene’s negative environmental and public health impacts and identifying alternatives.
We are 3rd through 8th graders who have raised more than $10,000 to pilot a dishwasher at one school and are asking businesses to go polystyrene-free. Since we launched our campaign, DC, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County have passed legislation to restrict use of foamed polystyrene. Takoma Park’s bill goes even further by banning all types of polystyrene at restaurants.
We are now working to develop a COMMUNITY COMPOST PROJECT. We didn’t get our dishwasher but we can put the money we raised toward a composting initiative.