Tommye Mayer raises attention to the use of polystyrene as containers:

What if we were to decide we don’t want non-recyclable polystyrene in the North End? We want ONLY recyclable take out containers. I had to buy a dozen eggs in the North End before a storm and the only eggs I could find were packaged in polystyrene!!

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like a good idea. One way to send a message to retailers is to post compliant and non-compliant businesses and let consumers decide.

    • there is no law in Boston requiring the elimination of polystyrene so compliant to what? One resident’s complaint?

  2. I am delighted to see some conversation.

    Maybe if we were to appeal to our North End restaurateurs’ and retailers’ better angels and just asked. Not EVERYthing has to be as a result of legislation. Maybe the #NorthEndBusinessAlliance would like to tagline the eco-friendliness of the neighborhood takeout and doggie bag containers.

    #Bricco got a lot of excellent press from their kitchen waste composting efforts.

    I did a little research:

    Eco-friendly Disposable Takeout Food Containers http://letsgogreen.biz/pages/foodcontainers.html

    Compostable Take-Out Supplies http://www.greenhome.com/business/green-food-service-supplies.html
    Take Out Boxes http://www.foodbizsupply.com/take-out-boxes.html
    How Green Is Your Takeaway Container http://www.chowhound.com/food-news/54263/how-green-is-your-takeaway-container/

  3. the North End business alliance has not existed in years. If this so important to you Tommye, why don’t YOU take it up with the businesses? I only answered to let you know where you could get eggs you were complaining about not being able to find. Of all the issues confronting this city, polystyrene containers are not one of my big concerns.

  4. 1)One of those pieces of trash is a Dublin donuts cup and there is not one of those in the north end.

    2) getting people especially businesses to stop using styrophone is far fetched and highly unlikely. Even if you got a few I don’t think it would make a big difference.

  5. Never envisioned legislation or regulation, in fact I’m pretty fed up with that approach. By compliance, I mean does the business not package its goods in the polystyrene containers. Some communities issue Go-green logos to compliant businesses that they post prominently in establishment. Likewise, I can see no polystyrene posting on store fronts as a marketing tool. Again, this is something that consumers decide.

    • No MarkB, indeed, your I-spy skills are still good! 🙂 That is not an egg carton in the picture. ^oo^ I photographed the polystyrene #DunkinDonuts (Ralph, there IS one under the Government Center garage at Haymarket AND another Dunks at TD Garden–so, surrounding the #NorthEnd) and takeout container “festooning” Lombard Place and thought, what if people weren’t given these not-recyclable containers by North End restaurants. Wouldn’t that be a good thing. And then I remembered when I didn’t know Alba’s on Parmenter St. carries farm-fresh eggs in cardboard cartons and only finding eggs in non-recyclable polystyrene. Thank you Joyce.

      Forgive me Joyce for having forgotten the North End Business Alliance has morphed into a North End Chamber of Commerce. Oh well.

      Still, what if?

      That’s all I’m asking.

      • Tommye, Since this is so important to you why not approach Frankie D ( I think he is still grand poobah of the North End Chamber of Commerce) and ask to address the group about this. Don’t expect somebody else to do the work for your idea.
        Just saying

  6. Well Tommye, aside from the recycling aspects another point would be this:
    “Styrene can be ‘reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen’, the National Research Council in the U.S. said yesterday.”

    This is an excerpt from a news article. I remember getting a takeout meal at a place near where I live. It was a hot meal packaged in polystyrene. By the time I arrived home the food had melt the polystyrene. Never ate that meal or went back to that establishment again. I have always suspected those coffee cups too, since the coffee is hot. Over the past year several cities have banned this type of food packaging. I don’t associated polystyrene with better eating places, so just avoiding places that serve food that way can avoid a lot of guess work into what caused your indigestion.

  7. Excellent points, t.Mobile.

    I’m glad we’ve been able to have this robust exchange on the subject of encouraging North End establishments away from polystyrene take-out & doggy-bag containers.

    I suspect the restaurant from which you purchased that takeout meal would be interested in knowing you didn’t eat that meal & have never gone back because of the packaging. Results like that *can’t* be good for business.

  8. Dear Joyce S & Ralph,

    This is an important issue to anyone who cares about the environment, overflowing landfills, and especially the excessive levels of litter throughout the City, particularly in Downtown neighborhoods like the North End. No merchants should be using non-recyclable polystyrene packaging since there are perfectly good plastic and paper alternatives. Remember it wasn’t that long ago when all the fast food chains used polystyrene containers until public protests forced them to do the right thing.

    • Good luck to you and Tommye and Marris getting the North End businesses to switch. I did not say it was not important, just not that important to me.. I told Tommye that if this issue is so important to her to do something besides suggest it on this blog. People like to spout off ideas and expect others to do the work. Perhaps you and Marris can help her.

  9. David, so glad to see another ally. 🙂 I’d like to think North End retailers/restaurateurs read NorthEndWaterfront.com and may be thinking “Hmmm. We could do that…” I’m especially hoping T.Mobile’s story was eye-opening.

    It is my belief that people really do want to do the right thing and sometimes it just needs to be brought to attention–there’s so much to juggle when operating a store, a restaurant and nobody can think of everything. ^oo^ Not even me!

  10. Yes!! Let’s get rid of Polystyrene in the north end – From our eateries, cafes and streets!
    Did you know that according to Cleveland State University study, styrofoam lasts 1million years+ in landfills??
    Thanks to TKMayer!

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