The Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee) / Cree Nation Government has taken an important step in the removal of polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) from meetings, events and departmental purchasing. The challenge comes in an effort to remove polystyrene products from our waste stream while also encouraging the use of renewable products such as metal water containers, and fiber plates and utensils that are biodegradable over time.
The Impact of Polystyrene
Polystyrene (styrofoam) are a plastic compound often used in disposable trays, plates and packaging throughout the world. Due to the chemical composition of polystyrene it is not consistently recycled across Quebec, allowing it to become a part of the waste stream that ends up in landfills within our communities. This foam decomposes over hundreds, sometimes thousands of years where it is exposed to UV rays from sunlight. This heat causes the release of a harmful chemical called styrene which harms wildlife and humans that are exposed to it.
Every person living in our communities can play an active role in reducing Styrofoam usage. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when you are organizing an event, or shopping for your household:
We all can contribute to the reduction of harmful materials in our landfills and promote a culture of stewardship of resources which has long been a part of the Cree way of life.