As You Sow calls out McDonald’s on continued use of polystyrene: Page 2 of 2

Writing in response to an article on PS foam food packaging that appeared in the Baltimore Sun (“Polystyrene foam is bad for your body and the environment,”  Feb. 16, 2017), B.H. Meyer said that the author of the article, Dr. Richard Bruno, “failed to mention that said packaging is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and must pass rigid testing before it is approved.” Meyer also pointed out in his article, “Polystyrene is no health hazard,” that Bruno “also failed to note that paper packaging, including wraps and hardboard, have more residual compounds on them such as insecticides, fungicides, biocides, fluorinated water repellants, PCGs, dirt and insect parts. For this reason, paper products used in food-contact applications also must meet strict FDA testing regulations.”

Because polystyrene is created from natural substances found in nature, Meyer noted that “trace levels” are found among the “hundreds of chemicals in coffee” and also in cinnamon. “Should we now ban Cinnabons?” Meyer asked sarcastically.

As You Sow notes that “more than 100 U.S. cities or counties have banned or restricted foam packaging.” A quick bit of research showed that as of July 15, 2014, most of those cities/counties (80) are in California. A few bans exist in Oregon and Washington; San Marcos, Texas; and the New England states with ocean frontage, among a few others. But outright bans are the exception, not the rule.

The new proposal to McDonald’s shareholders was co-filed by Actiam, “a leading responsible fund and asset manager, and JLens, a network of Jewish faith-based investors. “If the proposal appears on the company’s proxy, it would be voted on in May 2018,” said As You Sow.

Many decades ago, the PLASTICS Industry Association stood up mightily for the plastics industry to focus on the science and not the hype surrounding this fabulous new material. It made efforts to inform the public about plastics’ benefits, correct misinformation appearing in popular mainstream magazines and newspapers, and promote plastics as the material that would change the world for the better. Maybe it’s time for the association to make new efforts to promote the science of plastics and confront the misinformation head-on.

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