One very common use of expanded polystyrene is in packing peanuts, and they are great for very lightweight, but sturdy packaging protection. Privacy Policy   Cookie Policy. The recycling rate for polystyrene is still quite low. Foam collected from curbside and drop-off recycling programs is being transformed into useful, everyday items like rulers, pens, and picture frames. This is a common question, and many well-intentioned folks toss their Styrofoam food containers into their curbside recycling bins. Plastic #6/Styrofoam itself is challenging to recycle, adding to the issue most household Styrofoam is contaminated with food and oils making it unable to be recycled anyways. © 2020 Foam Facts. Recycling Styrofoam Peanuts. Advertisement "Recycle Your EPS" (accessed June 17, 2010) Technically, styrene is a petroleum by-product made from chemicals which may be carcinogenic. According to research, the term polystyrene means that the plastic is derived from styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon.As well as being naturally transparent, it can also be adapted with colourants. All hope is not lost however, as more and more places of business are making switches away from expanded polystyrene products and moving to recyclable and biodegradable alternatives, and more and more households are using reusable containers and cups. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Polystyrene is also sometimes used for other food packaging like multi-pack yoghurts. Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers. This is one example where Styrofoam recycling may be a viable option., Plastic Loose Fill Council. A quick phone call to your local recycling center or waste management company will allow you to quickly curb some of that waste if, in fact, they accept EPS. (accessed June 17, 2010) Heat and friction are used to melt the fluff, removing all the air., British Plastics Foundation. (accessed June 17, 2010) Any EPS that is not already clean is washed and dried., Ehrenberg, Rachel. GREENMAX can offer you professional polystyrene recycling machine with high quality and simple operation EPS Recycling "Meet Ray McIntyre." Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight, rigid cellular plastic that is used widely as a packaging medium. (accessed June 17, 2010) February 23, 2006 (accessed June 17, 2010) Styrofoam Recycling. Purchase paper plates and bowls instead of Styrofoam when in need of disposable dinnerware. This is not a pure gain, of course, because some energy must still be used to transport and reprocess the material. Page 9. An affiliate of Dart Container Corporation. "Dilemma: Is it greener to drink from reusable cups? Actual “Styrofoam” was created in 1941 by the Dow Chemical Company and is almost exclusively used in construction, for floating docks and sometimes for floral arrangements, it is usually light blue and not white. Consider bringing along your own glass or plastic take out containers for leftovers when eating out. polystyrene-6.jpg. View EPS Recycling Map in a full screen map. While Styrofoam, otherwise known as polystyrene, is accepted at a few recycling facilities, for the majority of municipal recycling centers this isn’t the case. Once again these do not break down in landfills and are toxic, so if there is any way to reuse or recycle this should be the first option. What is polystyrene?, Verespej, Mike. The Sony Corporation of Japan has begun to use limonene an organic orange peel extract to first reduce the expanded foam to 1/20th of its volume and create a sticky, gooey substance that can be used as a sort of super glue. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. Avoid foam egg cartons and choose paper or plastic ones instead, whenever possible. Since expanded polystyrene is also made up of carcinogenic chemicals keeping it out of our landfills whenever possible is of great importance. Sorting separates clean material from soiled waste that will need washing. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Making polystyrene requires petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. Polystyrene is easily recycled, but does the cost outweigh the benefit? Think about your purchases, can you get your meat and seafood from the counter and wrapped in paper instead of the foam used in prepackaged choices. "Palo Alto, Calif., votes to ban PS take-out food packaging."