Thanks to some vigorous student activism, the era of ubiquitous Styrofoam in the Los Angeles Unified School District is over. The decision makes LAUSD the first school district in the nation to issue such a ban.
Two and a half years ago students in the Environmental Studies Magnet program at Thomas Starr King Middle School in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles were assigned a project which required them to carry around their own trash for a week. Students saw first-hand how the majority of their trash was single-use disposable plastics, and one of the major sources was the polystyrene—commonly known as Styrofoam—trays from the cafeteria. A trip to a local recycling facility taught them that the trays aren't being recycled—recyclers won't accept Styrofoam that's not clean.