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North Market Implements Ban on Single-Use Styrofoam Containers

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega North Market Implements Ban on Single-Use Styrofoam Containers
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The North Market has gone environmental, this week announcing a building-wide ban on single-use styrofoam containers. Styrofoam, generically known as polystyrene, is a non-biodegradable plastic that pollutes waterways, parks, and other ecosystems. It’s not great for the human body, either. Styrene, an industrial chemical used in the process of making polystyrene, is considered by the National Institute of Health to be a human carcinogen, or cancer causing agent. The market’s ban on the material is effective on Sunday, April 1.

The decision was made at the annual meeting of the North Market Development Authority (NMDA). It specifies that businesses operating within the market are prohibited from using styrofoam cups, plates, trays and clamshell containers.

“We’re listening to our guests, and their consistent message has been to eliminate environmentally harmful Styrofoam products at the North Market,” said Jeff Pongonis, NMDA Board President, in a press release. “With consideration for our merchants and research into products offered as replacement for those currently in use, we’ve chosen to transition away from non-recyclable and single-use Styrofoam products. While long overdue at the Market, we hope to be a leader in the region and hope it will encourage other businesses to also transition to responsible products.”

Should other businesses or even the city as a whole follow the North Market’s lead, they’d be joining a long list of other U.S. places that have banned Styrofoam. More than 100 cities and counties in 11 states have made the move away from polystyrene, opting instead for biodegradable, non-carcinogenic containers.

“As Central Ohio’s last true remaining public market it’s our responsibility to lead by example,” said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market Executive Director, in an email. “There are so many better ecological and economical options now available to food service, it’s time to move on. I hope others in the city follow our lead, the bottom line and big picture is, it’s what’s best for our planet.”

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