Home > Think > Story, Dec 27, 2009
What about styrofoam containers?
Last Sunday's column, 'The bad bag habit', faults only the humble plastic bag as 'ungreen' and a carbon emissions culprit.
Although I agree we could all do with fewer plastic bags, I find that they are not always the villain they are made out to be.
For example, plastic bags may be reused for storing meat in our freezers, to bag trash, or as gloves, before finally being thrown away.
In fact, there are other undesirable products and behaviour that are not environmentally friendly.
For example, styrofoam cups, bowls and take-away containers are worse for our environment and should be banished. They are non-biodegradable, and worse, they are bulky and quite useless for reuse in other purposes.
Since they were introduced some years back, these styrofoam boxes and cups have quickly spread and taken root in the food and beverage industry, with coffee shops, food centres and even durian sellers using them.
The packaging becomes quite a nuisance as it often turns into windblown litter.
I have often seen these light styrofoam bowls and cups blown helter-skelter on tables, tipping and rolling over and spilling their contents onto the tables and floors.
Another undesirable habit is drivers letting their car engines idle while waiting.
From the very large vehicles to the smallest car, one can easily see them on our roads.
I have come across many cases of drivers running their car engines for more than half an hour.
I wonder whether the National Environment Agency has any concerted programme to discourage this and enforce its rules.
Chan Wai Chong