Chicago Public Schools to phase out Styrofoam food trays within 24 months

CPS students will soon be carrying their breakfast on an "affordable alternative" tray, which will help with the 35 million lunch trays that fill Chicago landfills each year.

Jan. 16—Within 24 months, Chicago Public Schools students will be carrying their breakfasts and lunches on an “affordable alternative” to Styrofoam food trays at a cost reduced by pooling the purchasing power of six cities, aldermen were told Monday.

Leslie Fowler, CPS director of nutrition support services, disclosed the environmental sea change at a Finance Committee meeting where aldermen took testimony, but no action, on a proposal to ban Styrofoam and other polystyrene food containers.

Finance Chairman Edward Burke (14th) introduced the ban last month, noting that more than 250,000 CPS students use Styrofoam food trays every day.