Posted 8 months ago on Aug. 29, 2012, 1:51 p.m. EST by ZenDog
from South Burlington, VT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Dunkin Donuts' website cites that American consumption of coffee alone is 488 million cups per year!!! While it takes 100 cups to equal 1 pound, that still works out to 4,880,000 pounds of trash -- trash that is mostly styrofoam! The worst part is that is this only references consumption in the United States. Worldwide, the amount of waste generated is astronomical.
On the Dunkin' Donuts brands website, they state their claim of responsibility to the planet: "We recognize that everything we do has an impact on the environment. From the materials we use, to the way we construct and operate our stores, we are committed to adopting better, more sustainable approaches whenever possible."
According to statements made by Dunkin Donuts last September (9/16/2011), Dunkin Donuts would be replacing styrofoam but has not created a timetable. (See the article here: http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/boston/12005390958554/dunkin-donuts-says-goodbye-to-styrofoam-cups/) It is time for them to get styrofoam out of their stores for good.
Discarded polystyrene does not biodegrade for hundreds of years and is resistant to photolysis. Because of this stability, very little of the waste discarded in today's modern, highly engineered landfills biodegrades. Because degradation of materials creates potentially harmful liquid and gaseous by-products that could contaminate groundwater and air, today's landfills are designed to minimize contact with air and water required for degradation, thereby practically eliminating the degradation of waste.
Polystyrene foam is a major component of plastic debris in the ocean, where it becomes toxic to marine life. Foamed polystyrene blows in the wind and floats on water, and is abundant in the outdoor environment. It can be lethal to any bird or sea creature that swallows significant quantities. 
Polystyrene foams are produced using blowing agents that form bubbles and expand the foam. In expanded polystyrene, these are usually hydrocarbons such as pentane, which may pose a flammability hazard in manufacturing or storage of newly manufactured material, but have relatively mild environmental impact. However, extruded polystyrene are usually made with hydrofluorocarbons (HFC-134a), which have global warming potentials of approximately 1000–1300 times that of carbon dioxide.
In addition to harmful environmental effects, there are documented adverse effects to workers in production:
The biggest environmental health concern associated with polystyrene is the danger associated with Styrene, the basic building block of polystyrene. Styrene is used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, and resins. About 90,000 workers, including those who make boats, tubs and showers, are potentially exposed to styrene. Acute health effects are generally irritation of the skin, eyes, and upper respiratory tract, and gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, and weakness, and can cause minor effects on kidney function and blood. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the EPA and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A voluntary compliance program has been adopted by industries using styrene. The US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration unsuccessfully (a federal court overturned the ruling in 1992) tried to limit the amount of worker exposure to styrene to 50 parts per million (ppm). According to the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC), they still encourage their member companies to comply with the 50 ppm exposure limit. This program would reduce styrene exposures to a 50 ppm TWA with a 100 ppm (15 minute) ceiling. -OSHA (US Dept of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration)