Parent Wants GCPS to Stop Use of Styrofom Lunch Trays

Over 150,000 lunches are served each day by the school system using polystyrene foam, that adds up to over 30 million foam trays annually.

Gwinnett County school officials are responding to a mother's petition for the district to stop its use of Styrofoam trays. Peachtree Corners has four public schools within its city borders.

Last week, Lilburn-Mountain Park Patch ran an article featuring Beth Remmes, the mother of two who began the Change.org petition.

Now, Gwinnett County Public Schools is responding. In an email response sent from Jorge Quintana, a spokesman, the district had this to say:

"As an environmentally responsible organization, Gwinnett County Public Schools has been researching options to improve the current use and disposal of our school lunch trays.

"Unfortunately, the school district was recently forced to stop recycling its lunch trays when its recycling partner went out of business due to the state of the economy.

"In fact, GCPS was the first school district in Georgia to start recycling lunch trays systemwide, an initiative that earned Gwinnett County Public Schools the "Outstanding K-12 School Program Award" from the National Recycling Coalition.

"As part of our continuous improvement efforts, our district is always communicating with other large districts from throughout the nation and private corporations researching their best practices.The most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly alternative the district has found so far would come at an increased cost of $800,000 annually.

"The district is proud of the fact that its School Nutrition Program is self-funded, meaning it is funded by cafeteria sales and does not pull scarce taxpayer dollars from the classroom. While the current tray system is a safe, effective option, the school system will continue to research options to improve lunchroom tray disposal.

"Not only is GCPS hoping to find an alternative that will help the district continue being kind to mother nature, but one that the district also will be able to financially sustain."

See related stories:

  • GCPS Adding More Healthy Options to School Lunches
  • GCPS Wins Award for Farm-to-Table Food


Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Lilburn Patch.

c. lindenau October 05, 2012 at 12:28 PM
I agree and recently asked the Brunswick Bowling Alley to stop using styrafoam cups


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