Ensuring that foam products are environmentally responsible is one of our core values.
Foam manufacturers like Dart Container Corporation are hard at work developing new materials and technologies with an eye on environmental stewardship.
- Polystyrene foam foodservice products are not manufactured with chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or any other ozone-depleting chemicals. In fact, Dart has never used CFCs in manufacturing molded foam cups.[i]
- Proponents of a Hawaii foam ban often cite the environmental advantages of alternative materials while failing to address Hawaii’s lack of commercial composting facilities. This inherent infrastructure challenge means that foam alternatives would not be composted, but instead would end up in landfills or H-POWER.
- Foam #6 insulates food better than alternative packaging, keeping hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Keeping food at an appropriate temperature prevents food-borne illness and creates a better experience for diners who enjoy plate lunches and carryout – this is why Hawaii restaurant owners use it.
- Foam foodservice products are ideally suited for the heavy soups, sauces, and rice-based dishes that Hawaii is known for. The structural integrity of foam is superior to the alternatives, offering consumers protection from leakage and burns.
- Polystyrene has been cleared by the FDA for multiple uses in food-contact articles. This means that the FDA has found polystyrene to be safe for handling food, and for accidental ingestion or consumption.
- Polystyrene foam is often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company that is used for insulation. Polystyrene foam is primarily used for food packaging products.
Solutions for Marine Litter in Hawaii
Multiple scientific studies have concluded that plastic litter in the ocean is a result of poor or insufficient waste management and lack of recycling and recovery facilities. The composition of this litter isn’t the issue, the behavior is. Bottom line – all litter is bad, and no trash should end up in the ocean.
Litter in every form mars the beautiful views and beaches that Hawaii is famous for. Rather than banning polystyrene foam from Hawaii, we should instead focus on educating people about proper disposal for the sake of beauty and ecology.
America’s plastics makers, including Dart Container Corporation, contribute to solutions on marine litter. Currently there are nearly 260 projects focused on researching, preventing, or reducing marine debris underway around the world.
A collection of 64 plastics associations in 34 countries have signed the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter. Some of these signatories have partnered with communities in Honolulu on a comprehensive study of the city’s litter and solid waste/storm water management to identify strategies for preventing litter from reaching the ocean.
By raising awareness of the issue and highlighting steps people need to address it, industry leaders can help change the behavior that leads to marine litter.