Illustration by A.M. RemalanteHOW DOES one eat take-out at the Tan Yan Kee Student Center these days?

Not in Styrofoam containers anymore after Thomasian student leaders resolved to ban “Styro-wares” from the student center’s premises to “prevent the environment’s rapid deterioration.”

Officials of the Central Student Council, the Student Organizations Coordinating Council (SOCC), local student council presidents, and political parties agreed to make the building “Styro-free” during the 2nd Thomasian Leaders’ Congress last Jan. 30-31.

The rule took effect Feb. 16 through a memorandum from the Office for Student Affairs. All Styrofoam materials, not only food containers, are barred from the building.

Styrofoam, a trademark of American corporation Dow Chemical Co., is used in the country as a generic term for expanded polysterene foam, used mainly to pack food.

A study conducted by the Office for Community Development and City Service Corp. Janitorial Services last September showed that the University still has a “long way to go” in terms of “going green,” after producing 107 garbage bags full of Styrofoam-based products – enough to fill four classrooms – in five days.

The buildings monitored were Roque Ruaño, Albertus Magnus, the carpark which houses the College of Accountancy, St. Martin de Porres, St. Raymund’s, the Main Building, and the Student Center.

SOCC president Lawrence Elmer Ibale said “most of the students are always on the go and no longer have time to dine inside restaurants, that is why they tend to take out food which are packaged in Styrofoam.”

According to, an environmental non-profit organization established in 1999, Styrofoams are made with petroleum.

Ang Paskong Tomasino

“The process of making polystyrene pollutes the air and creates large amounts of liquid and solid waste,” the website said.

These effluents may cause cancer, birth defects, and fertility problems.

“Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain (especially when heated in a microwave).

These chemicals threaten human health and reproductive systems,” the website said. Danielle Clara P. Dandan


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