What You Can Do With Styrofoam

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Posted 18 Apr 2017 in Application

Recycle/repurpose. Styrofoam can be recycled in some areas. You can locate such recycling opportunities near you by going to Earth911 or checking with your local styrofoam recycling companies or city/county recycling directory. Once you find a location or two, you may want to call ahead to make sure exactly what they accept. The packing styrofoam blocks are accepted by some facilities for repurposing into building materials.

If you work for a company that handles a significant amount of styrofoam, you might look for a facility that will accept large volumes of the material. In all cases, remove any labels, tape, and other items from the styrofoam that could contaminate the recycling process.

• Reuse. If you receive packages that contain the styrofoam packing peanuts, you can reuse them for your own packing or donate them to a local UPS or shipping store. Blocks of styrofoam also can be reused for personal or business purposes.

• Pick it up. If you are out walking and you see styrofoam cups or other debris, pick it up and dispose of it (unless it’s a form you can recycle). At least you reduce the chances of the plastic being consumed by wildlife, ending up in waterways, or clogging sewer lines.

• Say no to Styrofoam. Choose not to buy any type of styrofoam products (e.g., cups, dishes, containers) or items that are packaged in this plastic. When I eat out, I ask for an alternative to styrofoam for leftovers, and when I order take out I bring my own glass containers when I can. You can also bring your own stainless steel or ceramic coffee mug when visiting a coffee shop or any establishment that serves coffee in styrofoam.

• Be a maverick.
If you work or volunteer in a facility where styrofoam cups are used in the break room, introduce the idea of switching to ceramic mugs. Remind the powers that be that this switch will save money! Everyone has a mug or two at home they can part with for the cause. Yes, the mugs will need to be rinsed, but we’re all adults now, right?

• Reheat safely.
Never reheat food or beverages in styrofoam containers. Use ceramic, stoneware, or glass.

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