Windsor Mann on Styropolitics:
In the last two years, one city after another has rediscovered a common pariah in the form of polystyrene foam, commonly known as Styrofoam. More than 100 cities including Portland, Oakland and San Francisco have banned it from restaurants and supermarkets …
Because it is not biodegradable, Styrofoam is a nuisance to dispose of. Each year people throw away 25 million Styrofoam cups, which then make their way into landfills where they linger but do not decay. “Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill,” reports the Environmental Protection Agency. Styrofoam is waste that doesn’t waste away.
This fact upsets environmentalists, who, though willing to give fossils and ancient artifacts a pass, abhor foam’s apparent immortality. An oped in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last year proclaimed Styrofoam to be “an environmental evil” that needs to be eradicated.
But it’s so useful as a movie prop.