Marchbooks' Blog

May 29, 2009

Styrofoam No More by Janus Kane

I purchased items from two different companies last week. They were delivered two days apart. They were similar items and were shipped by the same carrier. They came packaged in roughly the same way, with one MAJOR difference. The first box was filled with those vile styrofoam peanuts that no one knows what to do with. They are a bane on the environment but, hey, we need our packages to arrive in good condition – damn the environment. The second box was also loaded with peanuts (not the edible kind) although, wait a minute, I guess you could eat them if you had a hankering for cornstarch. Well, I’ll be, these little suckers are not made out of styrofoam at all.

I only suspected the difference (kudos to the responsible manufacturer, by the way) because, in appearance, these peanuts are virtually identical to their more toxic brothers. Only a slight color variation, and the fact that I had seen these once before, prompted me to bring one to the kitchen sink. In seconds, this thing was gone and on its way into my septic system.

Simply put, I hope the person who developed these little, bio-degradeable miracles is a millionaire, and then some. This person has found a cure for one of the most troubling drains on our environment. No longer will our landfills have to be packed with acres of non-decomposing styrofoam. It is, in my opinion, one of the greatest advancements in recent history and may benefit our future welfare almost as much as the discovery of penicillin.

But, one has to wonder, what has been done to encourage the use of this better, safer, far more environmentally sound solution to the use of styrofoam? Not much, from what I can see. Are styrofoam manufacturers converting their plants to start making this new, non-toxic product? Are other manufacturers clamoring for more of this environmentally sound packing material? Has the government put a ban on new styrofoam production? These are all things that should be done, IMMEDIATELY.

Often, when you find an alternative to something that is harmful, it comes at some expense. That decadent seven-layer chocolate cake is not good for you. Your choice is to eat what is harmful or choose an alternate, less appealing substitute. Gasoline omissions pollute our air. Our choice is to accept the inevitable pollution or get our biking shorts out of the closet. Here is one of the very rare instances where we can have our cake and eat it too. So, why are we not doing it?

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