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Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants to phase out styrofoam

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SARASOTA, Fla. — During a go to to Sarasota on Friday, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried introduced a brand new initiative. The gubernatorial candidate mentioned her division had begun rulemaking to phase out using polystyrene in grocery shops and companies throughout Florida.

Polystyrene, or styrofoam, is utilized in meals packaging merchandise like styrofoam cups, plates and to-go containers. The merchandise are cheap however Fried mentioned research have proven the chemical compounds inside polystyrene foam have been linked to most cancers, imaginative and prescient and listening to loss, beginning defects, respiratory irritation and a complete number of different well being points. 

“Polystyrene could also be handy, however there’s a hidden hazard to public well being from these disposable shopper merchandise. Chemicals in polystyrene will not be solely linked to human and animal well being issues, however as a result of these petroleum-based merchandise take not less than 500 years to decompose, their unfavourable results proceed lengthy after they’re thrown away,” mentioned Commissioner Fried. 

The rule the Department of Agriculture is drafting plans to slowly phase out styrofoam packaging yr by yr – decreasing the allowable quantity of styrofoam being bought annually.