Tray-less Tuesdays arrive


Matthew Healy, Staff Writer

Every year, tons of Styrofoam are piled into already overflowing landfills. The main contributors to this non-biodegradable substance in landfills are Styrofoam coffee cups and lunch trays.

Seniors Diana Davenport, Gregory Hoffman and Gabriel Cordero along with juniors Rachel Lee, Monica Dyches and Ellora Sarkar have come together to impose Tray-less Tuesdays at Palmetto.

“Styrofoam is the fifth most numerous pollutant on the globe and everything should be done to reduce the contributors and use of Styrofoam filling up the landfills,” Hoffman said.

Tray-less Tuesday is a weekly event that started in New York City last March. Every Tuesday, cafeterias replace their Styrofoam trays with biodegradable paper goods. Some of the paper goods replacing Styrofoam trays include special trays made from a specifically coated paper and brown paper bags.

Tray-less Tuesdays at Palmetto will not only include specialized paper goods but reusable boxes made out of recycled materials. After each lunch, the boxes will be placed into specialized bins and reused on the following Tuesday.

By stopping the use of Styrofoam for one day, Palmetto’s carbon footprint could be greatly decreased. By using Styrofoam for four days a week instead of five, Palmetto’s Styrofoam contribution will be reduced by about twenty percent.

“Every Styrofoam tray ever made is still in a landfill and will stay in there for many more generations,” junior Monica Dyches said.

Principal Howard Weiner has already approved Tray-less Tuesdays even though the recycled boxes cost twenty-five cents each. Tray-less Tuesday underwent several trial runs beginning on November 2 and Tray-less Tuesdays officially started on November 30.

The six students entered their idea into the Lexus Challenge, a three-category contest in which students around the nation submit their projects that reduce pollution and environmental degradation. If Palmetto’s idea wins, the school could be awarded $10,000, which is planned to be used for the advancement of Tray-less Tuesdays at Palmetto.

“More students should really care about the environment, and this policy [Tray-less Tuesdays] is good, as it will reduce the waste created by the school,” sophomore Adam Stebbing said. “And that we could win $10,000 is even better.”