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11 years ago

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How much water is used to make a styrofoam plate?

My son and I have this environmental battle going on. I’m telling him to use a regular plate to eat his meals and then wash it.
He says he rather use a styrofoam plate since less water is needed to produce a styrofoam plate than to wash a regular one.
Is he right or just lazy??

I have done some research on the environmental impact of different types of dinnerware. Polystyrene products (Styrofoam is a brand name, sort of like how Kleenex has become a universal word for tissue), use little water, but do require petroleum, as others have already said. Hundreds of years from now, the polystyrene will still be sitting in a landfill, because it does not break down. Water is a renewable resource. It is, of course, still a finite resource, but my conscience would bug me more for wasting space in a landfill and oil for the sake of some water. In addition, if you search for “polystyrene health hazard” or a similar query, you can discover the multitude of websites with literature regarding the hazards of polystyrene. It accumulates in the body, and can cause neurological problems.

I do not think your son is necessarily lazy, but probably either A) misinformed, or B) just learned something and was so eager to show off his knowledge that he tried to apply it when it was not applicable. You are definitely winning the battle. Just tell your son that using fewer petroleum products will save lives. If we could move away from it, GW Bush would not need to invade poor countries and steal their oil. Consequently, American, Iraqi, and African (since there are numerous countries on the African continent with newly discovered untapped oil reserves) lives. Conserve petroleum, and make it harder for the government to lie and start wars for oil!!!!

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