Updated on September 15, 2021
Costa Rica Makes Foamed Polystyrene in Take Out Containers Illegal.
Taking a strong and positive step in its ongoing work to protect its globally essential environment, Costa Rica’s Ministry of the Environment and Energy announced today it is illegal to use, import, market and deliver expanded polystyrene containers in Costa Rica.
The law was passed in 2019, with a grace period of 2 years to allow for the commercial transition. And it worked. We noticed as more and more restaurants in Quepos and Manuel Antonio began using biodegradable packaging for take-out meals.
Well, time is up. Costa Rica has taken a fundamental step in the protection of marine ecosystems and a healthy and ecologically balanced environment where these products accumulate and cause so much harm. #savingourocean
Being ecologically forward acting is one of the many reasons to consider Costa Rica real estate and to buy a Costa Rica home or land; because this country is looking to the future.
You may ask what kind of harm does polystyrene actually do to marine life? Here’s an excerpt from an article in Phys.org Dec 2019:
“Laboratory research suggests that foamed polystyrene pollution in the ocean could cause serious harm to marine life. While it bobs on the surface foamed polystyrene can be scooped up by a variety of seabirds that might mistake it for food such as fish or squid. Once algae, barnacles and other small organisms grow on its surface, it may sink beneath the surface where even more ocean life can accidentally eat it. When eaten, foamed polystyrene has been demonstrated in experimental conditions to reduce fertility, decrease energy and alter juvenile development of invertebrates at the base of the marine food chain. Like other plastics, it also occupies space in animals’ stomachs that should be available for food, sometimes creating a false feeling of fullness or causing a physical blockage that can lead to internal damage.
“Furthermore, foamed polystyrene has raised significant concerns relating to environmental and human health because its chemical components (e.g. styrene) have been linked to serious diseases, including cancer.”