Should Styrofoam be banned?

“America runs on Dunkin” has long been the slogan of Dunkin Donuts, a favorite among many coffee and doughnut lovers. However, is Dunkin Donuts really doing its part to help this country keep on running? A town in Massachusetts says no, as it seeks to stop the use of environmentally damaging Styrofoam cups.

In November, a council in Brookline, Massachusetts will look to ban the use of disposable polystyrene aka Styrofoam. A similar law has already been instated in a nearby town after residents learned how difficult it is to recycle Styrofoam and how styrene has been listed as a possible carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There is a concern that the styrene  can leak from the container into the food products. Nancy Heller, the town meeting member who brought light to this issue, suggests that there are plenty of alternatives for Dunkin Donuts in particular to take advantage of such as paper cups or reusable mugs.

The Boston City Council President, Steven Murphy, wants to fine restaurants and other retailers who sell food in Styrofoam containers despite business’ pleas that alternative packaging is much more costly. Major cities like San Francisco and Portland have already laid down the law (no pun intended!). I think that it is very socially responsible for cities to say NO to polystyrene packaging. It shows that they care more about health and environmental well-being than increased profits. I have been guilty of chugging down a Dunkin coffee without a second thought as to where that cup will end up… clogging another overflowing landfill.

We should start with these little changes and eventually, they’ll add up to something bigger. So tomorrow morning when you’re bleary-eyed and fumbling for your keys as you race out the door to work, take a second to grab that reusable thermos sitting in the cabinet and take that for your daily Dunkin run. You’ll be doing the Earth a favor : )

And if you’re inspired to take another step towards a less-Styrofoam cluttered planet, head on over to and sign the petition here to encourage Dunkin to say good-bye to their unfriendly cups!


Image: Daily Shot