NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Giant styrofoam marionettes were used at City Hall on Monday to protest the use of the material in New York City school lunch trays, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

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The protest was run by the organization “S.O.S.,” or Styrofoam Out of Schools.

“We serve 850,000 meals per day in New York City schools. Over the past 20 years, we’ve been using styrofoam. That’s three billion trays,” the group’s Debby Lee Cohen told Lamb.

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A styrofoam marionette at City Hall - New York, NY - May 1, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Cohen praised the city’s Department of Education for eliminating Styrofoam trays on Tuesdays, when paper boats are used, but insisted that more must be done.

“We have 1.1 million students. We tell them in the classroom ‘Recycle. Recycle. Recycle.’ And then they go to lunch and we hand them a styrofoam tray and say ‘Just throw it away,'” Cohen said. “It’s time for a change in New York City. There are recyclable possibilities. There are compostable possibilities and reusables.”

A styrofoam marionette at City Hall - New York, NY - May 1, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

A styrofoam marionette at City Hall - New York, NY - May 1, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

Cohen said a big hurdle to replacing the Styrofoam trays is the cost. Styrofoam trays cost three cents apiece, but environmentally friendly substitutes are more expensive, Cohen said.

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