So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

LA Unified plans to ban Styrofoam food trays

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Los Angeles Unified School District has opted to look for alternatives to plastic foam lunch trays.

For decades, schools across the country have served sloppy Joes, gooey lasagna blocks and all other manner of school lunches on disposable Styrofoam trays. If you can’t picture them, close your eyes and think of a TV dinner tray only made of polystyrene — a material that takes hundreds of years to biodegrade.

But on Tuesday, Los Angeles Unified school board members voted to join a growing list of school districts to ban Styrofoam from all of its cafeterias.

Apparently, the board voted in response to the urging of students and parents who pushed for their removal. It follows similar moves in San Diego, Oakland, Berkeley and Portland.

Superintendent John Deasy will announce the district’s ban at a press conference at Thomas Starr King Middle School in Silver Lake.

There is still no word on what exactly will replace the un-green trays, but opponents of the ban argue any alternative will be more expensive for an already cash-poor school system. And, they contend, there is no guarantee a substitute will be better for the environment.

What would you like to see L.A. Unified use to replace Styrofoam trays? Plastic lunch trays? Sugar cane trays? Tray-less lunches? 

Vanessa Romo can be reached via email and on Twitter @vanromo.

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