TRENTON — Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, is sponsoring legislation to ban the use of styrofoam in school food containers.

"First and foremost, it does not biodegrade, and when it breaks into these small pieces, even minuscule pieces, it becomes harder to clean up," he said.

"It is made of these fossil fuels and synthetic chemicals, and these chemicals can often leach when they come in contact with hot or greasy or acidic food. So think about that as you are drinking a cup of coffee or your kids are eating off of that and ingesting some of these materials. It can be harmful to health, long term. And it is definitely harmful to our environment."

Singleton says if his bill, which has already survived on committee vote, becomes law, "it could not be sold for sale or otherwise provided in those schools or institutions."

He says the bill was brought to him by a local elementary school in Palmyra, The Charles Street School.

"The children of that school, who did this as a research project, came and testified very articulately on the merits of the proposal. So it is our hope now that it will continue its passage through the Assembly."

"Essentially, it would require every public school and public institution of higher education to ensure that no food or beverage [is[ packaged or contained in expanded polystyrofoam food containers, the styrofoam stuff that we typically know."

He says there are a whole host of cities across the country that have banned styrofoam use, including six of the nation's largest school districts.

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