Say No to Styrofoam

West Chester BLUER and the West Chester Business Improvement District (BID) have developed a program to promote the use of compostable takeout containers in an effort to reduce the accumulation of Styrofoam and plastic in Chester County landfills and in our streets and streams. We are urging downtown West Chester restaurants to participate in this program, as it will greatly benefit customer well-being as well as the quality of life in West Chester. See a breakdown of the local restaurants to see who is and isn't participating in the program.

Facts About Styrofoam

Some facts about Styrofoam and Styrofoam containers:

  • Polystyrene (commonly known as Styrofoam) is unnaturally and permanently malignant.
  • It can last for millions of years after being thrown out or littered.
  • About 200 million cubic feet per year of polystyrene material is used in the United States - most of which takes up landfill space.
  • Styrofoam contains chemicals that have neurotoxic, hematological, cytogenetic, and carcinogenic effects - especially if heated.
  • Recycling facilities are scarce and are not handled by our single stream recyclables pickup services.
  • The gases now being used to manufacture polystyrene are greenhouse gases, meaning they increase the effect of global warming.

Read more about Styrofoam at Bright Hub.

Ask for Non-Styrofoam Containers

The Say No to Styrofoam Campaign is an attempt to educate restaurant customers about the evils of Styrofoam and encourage them to ask for non-Styrofoam containers when getting takeout food. To start the program, we have given packages of free 100% compostable clamshell containers to many of the restaurant managers in downtown West Chester in hopes that they will replace their Styrofoam containers with these or at least provide an option for customers that ask for non-Styrofoam.

Compostable Container Facts

Read through some facts about the 100% compostable containers that we have offered as starting packs:

  • Containers used in trial program are from Vegware. We encourage restaurant managers to talk with their restaurant supply vendor to request compostable containers. BLUER will be glad to help facilitate additional orders - see below.
  • This is not a fund raising project for BLUER. In fact, BLUER is subsidizing this trial program.
  • Bagasse clam shells can handle hot, wet, or oily foods, and are completely compostable after use! They are soak proof, have no plastic or wax lining applied to them, and can be used for both hot and cold items. In addition, being a natural material, hot food won't 'sweat' inside these containers.
  • Made from a mix of natural fibers, including reed, bagasse (the waste fiber from pressing sugar cane), straw, and wood pulp, these hinged containers offer a true Eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam. No trees were harmed to make these hinged containers and they're bleached with hydrogen peroxide, which means no harmful chlorine in our water supply!

Restaurants are asked to order non-Styrofoam products from their restaurant supplies dealer, or if not available, order directly from the Why Not Bob Store.

In the spring of 2014 we plan to ramp up our awareness campaign by advertising the sides of the big belly solar powered trash and recycling cans when they are deployed later this year.

Free Case Incentive

Let BLUER know that you have made these purchases, we'll show our appreciation by kicking in a free case to effectively reduce your costs.