The Packaging Plague: Can You Recycle Styrofoam?

“Are you able to recycle styrofoam?” It’s a query that has been requested for years. With the pandemic forcing us to get take-out, order packages on-line, and even use styrofoam cups in some circumstances… that query is much more frequent. What do you have to do with the styrofoam in your house and office? Listed below are a couple of choices:

Can You Recycle Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a trademarked identify for a selected variation of expanded polystyrene packaging (EPS) utilized in constructing insulation. The froth polystyrene you’re probably making an attempt to recycle is utilized in packaging peanuts, egg cartons, take-out containers, and many others.

is styrofoam recyclable

Quick reply: Styrofoam is NOT recyclable and shouldn’t be positioned in outside or industrial recycling bins.

Lengthy reply: Styrofoam can technically be recycled, it’s simply extremely inefficient to take action. Why is that the case? Take into consideration how a lot area it takes up in industrial trash cans. EPS is 90% air and sometimes light-weight and ponderous. Would you need that styrofoam taking over area in industrial recycling bins as a substitute of extra compact recyclables like aluminum cans? Undoubtedly not! Nonetheless, some recycling packages could be adjusted to include styrofoam waste:

What Ought to I Do With Styrofoam?

There are some areas the place styrofoam could be recycled, to discover a foam recycling plant close to you CLICK HERE. Alternatively, some transport shops may even take again packing-peanuts for reuse as effectively. Native governments can also have drop-off areas particularly for styrofoam packaging. If you’re sure styrofoam could be accepted in outside recycling bins the place you reside, analysis beforehand in case your native curbside recycling packages have this exception.

what to do with styrofoam

Why Is Styrofoam Troublesome To Recycle?

Going again to the purpose about styrofoam taking over plenty of area in industrial recycling bins, EPS is tough to recycle in an economical method. The gathering of styrofoam requires a system that may compress it into ultra-dense form-factors to warrant the bills associated to transporting such a light-weight product. Then it must be taken to a particular facility that may shred styrofoam and repurpose it for various use. After processing it’s not expandable (as a result of it has been compacted) and sometimes will get changed into onerous plastic to be used in:

  • Image frames
  • Park benches
  • Crown moldings
  • And so forth.

So primarily, styrofoam by no means will get really “recycled” it simply will get repurposed. Business recycling corporations are engaged on methods to include “chemical recycling” to unravel the styrofoam downside by breaking it again down into polystyrene however this course of continues to be in experimental levels.


On the lookout for extra recycling ideas and methods? Take a look at these different blogs:

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CleanRiver Recycling offers quite a lot of revolutionary, versatile, and customizable recycling options. To find out the suitable answer to fulfill your wants, use the CleanRiver product selector.

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Written by colin

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