There’s no doubt about it. Modern industrialized societies utilize a lot of packaging material and produce tons of waste that must be disposed of properly.
For generations we took for granted that disposal issues were somebody else’s problem, the garbage collector’s, for instance.
Today we realize that the simplicity and cavalier attitudes of “the good old days” are no longer viable options as we search for effective means of dealing with the sheer volume of waste products that we generate daily.
We recycle and take pains to avoid spoiling the environment by littering and carelessly discarding the material by-products of our busy lives. We have the best of intentions, but sometimes it’s difficult for the ordinary citizen to understand what policies are for the better and which may be mere folly.
Therefore, we tend to leave the “hard choices” to our leaders and their underlings. The technical details can be confusing and, often, downright unintelligible.
The question of the possible banning of “styrofoam” food and beverage containers is now before the lawmakers and citizens of Somerville. Arguments both pro and con have been bandied about, and most of those concerned with the issue have formed strong opinions and beliefs regarding how the city should move forward on the issue.
While we would not wish to see retailers suffer any economic hardship as a result of such a ban, we can equally assert that the long-term deleterious effects on our environment should also be taken into consideration.
Styrofoam containers are difficult to recycle, and doing so is a costly process. Would moving away from their use be such a difficult transition to make?
We got the lead out of paint and asbestos out of our buildings. Maybe this stuff is best left out of our landfills.
Food for thought.