This plastic isn’t just harming wildlife anymore
A World Health Organization (WHO) working group just announced that they have concluded that styrene, a foundational component of polystyrene foam, probably causes cancer.1 In addition to this plastic foam polluting our rivers, lakes and oceans, and harming wildlife, it also risks human health.
The Threat from Polystyrene
From coffee cups to fast food containers, polystyrene foam — what most of us call Styrofoam — is used every day all across the country. And this plastic foam often ends up polluting our water, and risking our health and wildlife.2
In early April, a young sperm whale washed up on a beach in Spain with 64 pounds of human-made trash in its digestive system.3 In June, a pilot whale was found in a canal in Thailand, with 80 plastic bags and other plastic debris in its stomach, unable to swim or breathe.4
It’s stories like these that make it clear, it’s time to act to reduce and rid our planet of plastic pollution.
How You Can Help
One place we can start is to not use plastics that end up in our oceans in the first place. One of the worst forms of plastic pollution comes from plastic polystyrene foam. This foam never fully degrades — every single bit of polystyrene foam ever made is still out there.5
1. Aarhus University, “After 40 Years in Limbo: Styrene Is Probably Carcinogenic,” ScienceDaily, May 30, 2018.
2. Jose G.B Derraik, “The Pollution Of The Marine Environment By Plastic Debris: A Review,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, September 2002.
3. Kristine Phillips, “A Dead Sperm Whale Was Found With 64 Pounds Of Trash In Its Digestive System,” The Washington Post, April 11, 2018.
4. Elaina Zachos, “How This Whale Got Nearly 20 Pounds Of Plastic In Its Stomach,” National Geographic, June 4, 2018.
5. “Plastic Marine Debris,” Oceanic and Atmospheric Association Marine Debris Program, September 2011.