Many Muslims in the UK use polystyrene cups manufactured by a company called DART based in the USA. As these cups are manufactured by using animal fat it is highly recommended that we abstain from using these cups. Many Orthodox Jews abstain from using it as it is not Kosher. It is advisable that the Muslim community abstain from this as it is NOT Halaal.*
*One should look for other alternatives. There are many other companies in Middle East who manufacture them without using animal fat.*
*Do no destroy your deeds*(Quran)
Kosher and Halal
*In the manufacture of our cups and plates, Dart uses a lubricant in the extrusion process of our polystyrene resin pellets which contains zinc stearate. Zinc stearate (C36 H70 O4 Zn) is ultimately derived from tallow (animal fat). Because of the high temperature and purification steps, the tallow is, in effect, denatured (removed from the class of being “food”). Some religious authorities accept this idea and consider zinc stearate just another processing chemical.*
*Other religious authorities do not accept this argument of denaturing and further take the position that the presence of even small amounts of tallow-derived processing aids causes contained foods to lose Kosher/Halal status.*
*Since Dart does utilize these processing aids and given the current differences in theological opinion, we suggest that guidance is sought from your religious leader.*
Check the bottom of the cup for manufacture details.
The standpoint of the shari’ah, that when something changes in its essence (istihālah), then the ruling (hukm) associated with it also changes, applies to the zinc stearate in Dart styrofoam cups too. The zinc stearate is derived from sodium stearate, which is formed from tallow and lye. The initial tallow may be najas and haram, but the sodium stearate is tāhir and halal because the tallow underwent a process entailing istihālah. Hence, zinc stearate does not make Dart brand products najas.