Harmful, not helpful


Clara Oesterling, Student Life editor

Crisp, cold and sensational are all words I would use to describe McDonald’s Coke. The styrofoam cups that the Coke came in provided an easy grip, kept the drink cold and the ice solid for hours. However, McDonald’s recently made a switch from styrofoam cups to plastic cups.

As I was sitting in my first period math class last week, I had my new, plastic McDonald’s cup sitting on the corner of my desk, as I often do. However, this time, water was dripping onto my desk, my drink inside almost instantly watered down from the ice and the drink did not last long. I was dissatisfied to say the least.

In January of  2018, McDonald’s made the switch from styrofoam cups to plastic cups, and now us, McDonald goers, are split- the ones who like the new cups, and the ones who don’t.

McDonald’s made the switch to be more environmental friendly, which is appreciated, but how exactly environmental friendly is it?

Yes, plastic can be recycled, and that’s great. But, it never goes away. According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, 33 percent of plastic is used once and then gets thrown away. So, when it is reused, that’s great. But, when it’s not, it can pose some very negative effects.

Plastic has been proven to negatively affect our health as the toxic chemicals in it can spread and can be found in human blood and tissue which leads to cancer and birth defects, according to Plastic Pollution Coalition.

It also spoils the water within the ground below us. When plastic is thrown in landfills, the toxic chemicals drain into the water, which leads into lakes and rivers. This then hurts the life that is within water.

Styrofoam, however, “minimizes temperature changes (of the liquid),” as it says in an AP Environmental Science (APES) textbook.

Other people have also suggested paper cups, but they do not offer many other benefits  either.

“Today, there is still no definitive answer as to whether the paper cup or the (plastic) cup causes less harm to the environment,” the APES book explains.

So, to all of you people who praise McDonald’s for making the switch, the benefits aren’t really beneficial, and they have lost customers like me from this. In order for me to become a regular customer again, McDonald’s styrofoam cups must come back.