Thu | Oct 1, 2020

Letter of the Day: Think outside the (lunch) box

Published:Friday | July 3, 2015 | 12:00 AM


I note with interest that several cities in the United States have taken the bold step to declare an all-out ban on styrofoam containers.

Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from the styrene monomer. Styrofoam, which is actually the trade name of a polystyrene foam product, is used for housing insulation and food containers.

In Jamaica, there are several institutions that have already initiated a move away from these products. Island Grill and Shortwood Teachers' College come to mind immediately. While the former has developed an ultra-modern, earth-friendly package, the latter has reverted to the good ol' Jamaican 'box' in box food. They, and all who have made this move, are to be commended.

To my mind, several opportunities present themselves here, the most obvious being a recommendation for our food-service providers to adopt this move.

Second, our existing Jamaican manufacturers could produce them (if they are not already doing so) in mass quantities to fill local demand, thereby cutting our import (bill) of this most sought-after product while employing local resources.

Since it seems we (generally) are not about to start disposing of our garbage in the most environmentally friendly way, and until our government institutions get it right in relation to collection and disposal of such waste, this may be our best option of saving us from ourselves.

We often copy quite a bit from our neighbours up north. In this regard, this copycat behaviour may present a real opportunity for us.