"Can We Please Ban Styrofoam Already?"
Our multi-talented friend Simone Rubi of Do Your Thing Coffee in Marfa Texas had some words to share about styrofoam.
Working in the coffee industry and co-owning a coffee shop herself, she's the kind of person to be extra aware of how other businesses are handling their environmental impact. Thankfully, she's also the type to speak up about the topics that go wholly unnoticed within the same industries that should be discussing it the most.
Here's what Simone Rubi had to say, and what we should take to heart. You can have your coffee and drink it, too - all while doing your best to keep this planet clean.
REASONS IT NEEDS TO BE BANNED:
1. IT IS A KNOWN HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE.
Like all plastics, Styrofoam is a petrochemical; it comes from petroleum, which is known to cause developmental, hematological, renal, and immunological disorders.
2. IT LEACHES INTO FOOD AND DRINK.
Especially when paired with liquid and heat, a Styrofoam container’s toxins (like benzene and styrene) seep into the contents. But even with cold or dry food, contact with Styrofoam is unhealthy.
3. IT’S IN THE AIR AND ON YOUR SKIN.
The most common route of exposure to these harmful chemicals is simply inhalation. You also get exposure each time you touch it, since the chemicals can seep into your body through your skin.
4. IT’S TOXIC JUST TO MAKE IT.
Its industry ranks the 5th largest creator of toxic wastes in the USA. That includes liquid and solid wastes. Gross.
5. IT’S A ‘PRINCIPLE LITTER’ – MEANING IT’S EVERYWHERE.
Because Styrofoam is so light and crumbles easily, it’s almost too easy for it to end up out in our woods, rivers, and prairies. Once it’s there, it’s there to stay. It’s an especially serious problem in our world’s oceans.
6. IT STILL DEPLETES THE OZONE LAYER.
You may remember the ruckus around banning CFCs in the 90’s? Styrene has a way of evaporating its fumes into the air, which is bad for our lungs as well as the ozone layer that protects us from the sun’s cancer-causing rays.
7. JUST LIKE WITH OIL, THERE ARE SPILLS.
Styrene- and benzene-related illnesses occur in much higher concentrations at spill sites. What’s worse, the full effects of exposure to spillage are still unknown.
8. EVEN IN THE LANDFILL, IT’S NOT SAFE.
According to the EPA, as styrene leaches from landfills into our drinking water, it causes liver, kidney, or circulatory system problems. People living in poverty are more likely to live near landfills and factories, and are disproportionately affected.
Simone Rubi is a graphic designer, art director, cook, singer and performer. She lives in Los Angeles, California & Marfa, Texas. She owns a specialty coffee shop and cafe called "Do Your Thing" in Marfa, Texas. Check out that place here. She is now performing music as "RUBI" and the music can be found here and on the "Rubies" site. Film titles, music videos, branding, music packaging, restaurant identity, art direction, logo design, handmade graphics and typography, haircuts, songs, breakfast and dinner. She is also the co-founder of "Rubifox," a creative collective that do gatherings involving sit down dinners and performances/take-away art.