Current Event: Styrofoam Alternative

Plastic Styrofoam, or expanded plastic foam, is a common packing, insulation, and drink container material. Styrofoam is popular for its light weight, cheap production costs, and insulation abilities. This plastic material, however, poses both health and environmental dangers due to its chemical composition and inability to decompose. Some studies have shown “that long-term exposure tostyrene decreases birth rates, increases the risk for leukemia and lymphoma, and has devastating effects on the liver, kidney, and stomach.”

Some of the best green activism comes from alternative technology development as opposed to banning and regulation. Pathways of waste often pawn off the disposal of trash near lower income areas and developing countries where the health protection and advocacy is non-existent or systematically ignored. In the like of Max’s “feminist technology,” researchers at Naresuan University in Bangkok created a styrofoam alternative: leak proof leaf bowls.

c1_917069_620x413

These bowls are made from native trees like thong kwao (bastard teak), sak (teak) and sai (banyan) trees. These bowls provide the same type of technology that styrofoam does: lightweight, cheap, and leak-proof. Beyond that, these bowls are biodegradable (unlike styrofoam). This technology exemplifies the potentials of accessible, local technology. This technology could make a product that is produced and circulated on a global scale return to local wealth.

1647365-1

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/917069. View our policies at http://goo.gl/9HgTd and http://goo.gl/ou6Ip. © Post Publishing PCL. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: