Styrofoam gets the boot

By Michael Grondin

MacHall will officially be polystyrene foam free by the end of September.

A poll taken in 2009 showed that 93.4 per cent of students were willing to give polystyrene foam the boot and look for a more eco-friendly solution.

According to Students’ Union vice-president operations and finance Patrick Straw, the process to abolish the polystyrene foam food containers has taken two years, in which the Students’ Union is currently working with the vendors in MacHall to finalize the deal.

“In this past year we’ve gone out, we’ve worked really hard with all the vendors to try to make sure that we find a solution that works,” said Straw. “We thought because it was something the students wanted and it was something we could easily give them, it would be a great thing to do,” said Straw.

Alexandra Pulwicki, president of the Eco Club, said the move away from polystyrene foam will be beneficial for the students as well as the environment.

“[Polystyrene foam] is incredibly bad for the environment and the people who use it,” said Pulwicki. “It never decomposes, it takes a lot of chemicals and a lot of resources to make it which aren’t natural, and as soon as you put something like that into the garbage it’s going to be there forever.”

Avoiding non-decomposable products like polystyrene foam is the best choice, said Pulwicki, adding that when the students asked to get rid of it, they could not be turned down.

“We need to be living in a sustainable manner so that we can continue to leave this earth for our future generations,” said Pulwicki. “It will be leaving a mark on the land that will never go away, and when the students were willing to get rid of [polystyrene foam], we had to listen.”

Straw said a move like this shows that the students’ voice has a lot of power, and if they want to see a change, they can make it happen.

“I think it’s important because it shows the progressive nature of our organization, it shows that we listen to students’ needs and wants and that we can maintain sustainable practices,” he said. “Students can be involved in the consultation process and change can happen when students get involved. When students bring their voices together, big changes can happen.”

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