Sunday, December 29, 2013

Banned In Amherst

Cumbys come into compliance

Cumberland Farms is no longer serving their 99 cent coffee to go in Styrofoam containers, coming into compliance with the Amherst polystyrene packaging ban that goes into effect January 1st. 

They are now using paper coated in wax with a high gloss plastic-like  exterior which certainly feels the same as polystyrene.

I buried one of each variety in my back yard and will dig them up in 25 years and let you know if the new one passes the biodegradable test.

Meanwhile, Dunkin' Donuts (at least the one on University Drive) is still using polystyrene; but hey, they have another two days.


Anonymous said...

The paper containers used for salad at Bueno sure get soggy fast!
A heavy burrito sitting on it and the plastic take out bag creating steam didn't help matters either!

(When did they stop using paper bags?)

Dr. Ed said...

Wax causes bladder cancer in humans, hence wax is not really good for a cold beverage and terrible for a hot one that will inherently begin to melt some of the more volatile compounds in the wax.

Personally, I consider wax right up there with lead and friable asbestos on the list of things I'd not want in contact with a hot liquid I intend to ingest.

What's more, paper doesn't decompose in a landfill -- there isn't enough oxygen present for aerobic decomposition to occur -- that's why landfills are producing significant amounts of Methane gas.

You also don't really want it to -- that would create sinkholes which put holes in your quite carefully engineered (and not inexpensive to install) "cap" that is designed to prevent rainwater from getting into the buried trash below.

Picture a pile of salt on your driveway -- today with a half of an inch of rain falling. If you didn't have a tarp over it, the rain would dissolve some of it and you'd have salt water going across your lawn -- that's the "leachate" issue and its things far more nasty than salt water.

It goes without saying that if you were to go slice holes in the tarp, it would defeat the entire purpose of putting the tarp there in the first place.

That's why you don't want sinkholes in a landfill -- they defeat the purpose of the "cap" -- they let groundwater in -- and leachate out. That's why you want the paper to "mummify" -- to maintain a consistent volume -- forever. Hence a paper cup and a plastic cup are going to do the same thing when buried in a landfill.

And that's a good thing.

Wax contacting your hot coffee isn't. And Amherst is but another word for Assinine....

Walter Graff said...

Sad part is that polystyrene is indeed recyclable even though most people do not know that. But since the economics of waste recycling is about weight, polystyrene isn't worth recycling since one ton of it weights 1/10 of other recyclables so monetarily it's not worth it. All it takes to dissolve and recycle polystyrene is spraying it with limonene, a natural oil extracted from the skin of citrus fruits.

And sorry Ed, most all paper cups used for hot liquids have no wax coating. Most are instead lined with food grade polyethylene (PE) material. And here is the best part... any coated cup CANNOT be recycled. So much for polystyrene being bad. So are the cups you drink out of.

As I said recycling has little to do with anything but economics as in what makes money to be recycled. Aluminum is still the only recyclable material that ton for ton is worth much of any recycling.

And Ed, as for your bladder cancer claim in humans, there is no valid proof of this. In fact there are no studies of wax ingestion and humans that makes any such claims. There are only animal studies for the most part and animal testing has little validity on human health. *Citations related to wax available if you want them.

Fear not, all of the non glass cups you drink out of that you get at stores are filled with BPA residue from production and melamine from the seam glue that releases many toxins once the hot coffee is poured in it, and assorted other chemicals not meant to be in human tissue. Basically if you are drinking from anything but glass you are introducing non-natural compounds into your body and some are very bad for your health.

I won't bother telling you what all those Yankee Candles are really doing to your health. Nor the steering wheel on your car, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Wow, living proof if what happens when the unstoppable force blowhard meets the imovable object blowhard.

Anonymous said...

Dust to Dust! What is the final impact? If you are driving a Prius to save the world! You beveled a car salesman.
If you want to reduce coffee cup wast. Fill up your reusable mug. duuuuuuuuuuu!
Best... your
Local Republican.:)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, second on the wax comment. Mouse studies were completed in the 60's (1966) and showed no impact of wax on bladder cancer, with no link to humans.

El-Ghaffar, Y. A. (1966), Failure to induce bladder cancer in mice: Bladder implantation with paraffin wax pellets of lypholized urine from bilharzial patients. Cancer, 19: 1225–1230. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(196609)19:9<1225::AID-CNCR2820190908>3.0.CO;2-K

We throw the new bueno cardboard containers in the compost bin now!

Walter Graff said...

There is no compelling evidence that any animal studies translate to human health. Extrapolation of studies of mice and other animals has been an utter failure. You could feed a rat arsenic all day and they'll be fine. Try that with a human.

And this wax thing is just more web crap that has no validity akin to when word-of-mouth said that Bubble Yum contained spider eggs. Most all the fruit you eat is covered with wax so drinking from a cup is not going to put you over the limit. As one poster suggest, bring your own cup, preferably glass.

In case you didn't know not a single cup labelled BPA free is actually safe. You will still get estrogen mimickers from any plastic at varying degrees. That is a key issue in humans related to food grade plastics. Add heat and you get more leeching.

Right now everyone reading this probably has over 100 carcinogenic chemicals in their body. CDC says average person has over 151. I did a TV show with Bill Moyers some years ago we he was tested for chemicals in his body tissue and in the end he had over 80 very dangerous chemicals in his body, all from the plastics and other environmental exposure that every one of you experience every day. Yes even in Amherst.

Enjoy your coffee. No one bothers to talk about how bad the extracted liquid from a burnt bean is for you. Sort of like asking a meth-head if the drug is hurting him. Addictions do that to people.

Walter Graff said...

As for the Prius it's sales are down nearly 10%. Partially because it's lost it's steam. Hybrids never sold that well overall. There are 38 hybrid cars currently on the market and they are worse for the environment that a diesel truck as a another poster hinted here with that link. Saving the earth is a great industry for making money. Won't save the earth but will make for some big bank balances.

Tom McBride said...

Maybe the manager for the store on University Drive is a stubborn dude.

I really don't care, as long as the large cups are as large as they were before, although am a little concerned about burning my hands, and am a bit concerned about the wax.

This and the nut issue at the high school are interesting issues, but are SMALL in my mind compared to other news. I went into the S. Amherst library on Thursday, right at the checkout was a stack of pamphlets labeled "STOP THE RETREAT!", that folded out, and was printed by It's unclear who put them there, and why the library allowed that. I contacted the Jones, but they were a little vague about their policy, and told me to ask the people in S. Amherst about it (passing the buck). But it's the job of the Jones to clearly state their policy and take care of the issue themselves, I'm not going to be their cop.

Anonymous said...

So, now you are against free speech? All the town libraries have posters and pamphlets for all kinds of things and they don't approve or disapprove of any of them. It's been that way for forever. I don't want the librarians turning into speech police.

Tom McBride said...

They do. The Jones has bulletin boards. And tables with pamphlets. But they don't have pamphlets at the place you check your books out, except for maybe bus schedules. Ask the Jones if it's okay to have political stuff on the counter where you check a book out.

Dr. Ed said...

"The Jones has bulletin boards. And tables with pamphlets. But they don't have pamphlets at the place you check your books out, except for maybe bus schedules."

Tom's right, and the SCOTUS term is Content Neutrality -- the state may regulate speech to promote order & safety, it may not regulate it as to content. The state (i.e. any governmental entity) may regulate the time, place and/or manner of speech -- as long as it regulates ALL speech equally and makes no distinction between the content of speech.

There is no requirement that the speech be rational or even coherent. There are issues that arise with speech that is defamatory and/or threatening, but even a "word salad" may no more be restricted than any other speech.

It's not that the library was prohibited from having those fliers there but that in permitting them, they are required to permit all fliers to be there, not just the other side of this issue (i.e. "pro-retreat") but all opinions of all sorts (e.g. "Nuke the Whales").

As an aside, this is why I believe that SCOTUS is going to strike down the abortion buffer-zone law - to be constitutional, it would have to prohibit all speech regardless of content, it would have to prohibit any form of verbal communication which it does not.

Dr. Ed said...

"I did a TV show with Bill Moyers"


That's the basis of your scientific knowledge?!?!

Mine's was a petroleum engineer for Exxon/Mobil and unfortunately I can ask for details because he died of bladder cancer.

I'll add one thing though -- this wouldn't be the first time that there were internal studies that weren't released publicly and you do know who makes an awful lot of money producing & selling wax, don't you? Just speculating here...

Anonymous said...

Once I did a fundraiser with Larry Bird... and by "Once I did a fundraiser with Larry Bird" I mean I worked the front desk at a hotel where a fundraiser was held that Larry Bird attended.