Students find road to foam-free cafeterias difficult

Districts have the will but often not the way.

Dec. 10—For more than four years, members of the Young Activist Club in Montgomery County (Md.) have been asking the Board of Education for a dishwasher at Piney Branch Elementary School, so the cafeteria can stop serving food on foam trays.

They want to phase out foam for something greener, but their lobbying and fundraising, which has netted more than $10,000, have yielded little success. From Maryland to Illinois to California, environmentally minded students are pushing to remove polystyrene trays from cafeterias and replace them with compostable, reusable or recyclable alternatives. But change has been slow.