New Website, SunshineBloggers, Responds to Styrofoam Ban in Massachusetts

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In the wake of an August 20th article from the Boston Globe, entitled, “Amid Criticism, Dunkin’ Moves to Replace Foam Cup”, SunshineBloggers responded to the impending styrofoam ban in Brookline, Massachusetts and Dunkin’ Donuts’ strategy for accommodating the ban.

Following a Boston Globe article, written on August 20th and titled “Amid Criticism, Dunkin’ Moves to Replace Foam Cup”, SunshineBloggers discussed Brookline Massachusetts’ ban on styrofoam in food service establishments, and its effect on local businesses. Though the city did not ban all styrofoam (styrofoam ice chests, plates and cups, for instance, will still be sold in stores), on December 1st, all restaurants and food service companies are required to replace their styrofoam products with more readily recyclable alternatives. Dunkin’ Donuts, a food service company directly affected by the ban, has already implemented a replacement strategy.

Taryn Luna begins the aforementioned article with a brief exposition of Dunkin’ Donuts, and the famous cups that must be replaced in the wake of the Brookline ban. Dunkin’ Donut cups have grown to be synonymous with the brand, even appearing in the brand’s logo. In response to the ban, Dunkin’ Donuts began experimenting with different materials and styles for the new cups, wary of backlash; when cup lids were changed years prior to the styrofoam ban, Dunkin’ Donuts received hundreds of complaints from outraged customers unwilling to adapt to the change in coffee cup lids. To combat this fear, Dunkin Donuts worked with a manufacturer to design paper cups almost identical in appearance to the traditional foam cups, designed with insulation and a plastic liner to keep coffee hot—though higher-ups admit no amount of insulation can mimic the heat retaining properties of styrofoam. Despite the new design meeting Brookline’s requirements, the plastic lining of the cup makes recycling difficult, trading one inadequate material for another. Until a more cost-effective, environmentally friendly cup can be designed and manufactured, Dunkin’ Donuts will replace the traditional cups only in regions with styrofoam bans.

SunshineBloggers commends Brookline, Massachusetts’ devotion to being environmentally friendly, though several flaws exist in the city’s ban. Though the city is banning styrofoam containers in food establishments, styrofoam isn’t banned in stores; plates, cups, and styrofoam ice chests are sold currently, keeping concerns about styrofoam in landfills alive. In addition, the city did not provide alternative means of food storage, placing many companies in a difficult situation financially, making food costs in the city go up with the implementation of new food containers. To assist in the efficacy of the ban, cities should consider providing a series of alternatives to allow smoother transitions from styrofoam food storage to more easily recyclable food storage.

Taryn Luna is a correspondent for the Boston Globe, focusing her work on business and economics, as well as a collection of local news items. She has been a staff writer for the Globe since July 2011.

Following the announcement of Brookline, Massachusetts’ ban on styrofoam food storage in food service establishments, Dunkin’ Donuts began seeking new cups to replace their traditional styrofoam coffee cups. Despite many bids and design templates, Dunkin’ Donuts eventually went with a double paper cup lined with plastic. Despite meeting the ban’s requirements, the cup is not predicted to be oft-recycled, as many recycling centers refuse to accept plastic-lined products. Though Brookline’s ban is a step in the right direction, many cities enacting similar bans fail to provide adequate resources for businesses forced to adopt new containers, and many companies are replacing styrofoam with alternatives that do not greatly increase the potential for recycling. As more bans are enacted, cities should provide businesses with several storage alternatives, easing the transition for business owners and consumers alike.

About Sunshine Bloggers: is a website designed to provide its readers with information on economical and environmentally responsible news details, lifestyle choices, and product advice.

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