Can You Put Styrofoam In The Recycling Bin?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: September 3, 2021
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Take a look around, you will see Styrofoam. It is on almost every package of any product that we use. 

You find it on packaging for eggs, baby products, TV, to-go cups, or wireless device. 

Once you buy any of those products, you end up with Styrofoam.

We don’t like hoarding Styrofoam, but sometimes we have to. Sometimes children use them for school projects. 

Or as toys. Whatever we use them for, Styrofoams are harmful to nature. So we have to find ways to recycle them.

Should I keep it or dispose of Styrofoam?

If you are not a retailer, you are likely to throw away Styrofoam. But, throwing it away is a wrong decision for our environment. 

Instead, recycle it at home or put it in a recycling bin.

Stashing a Styrofoam in a bin is not an easy task. 

Here is why: styrofoams come in different shapes and sizes. 

You may have to come up with a way of resizing it, which is time-consuming.

You might be wondering: so what must I do?

Don’t fret; in this article, we will tell you how to break your Styrofoam.

But first things first:

How much Styrofoam goes to landfills?

There is a lot of Styrofoam that end up in our landfills. 

The throwaway culture harms our nature; in ways that may destroy the entire humankind.

Quick Stats on Styrofoam:

  • Styrofoam takes up to 30% of the space in US landfills,
  • Americans alone dispose of 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year.
  • 90% use Styrofoam is for packaging.
  • There are 2,3 million tons of Styrofoam that end up in landfills.

As you can see from the four facts, Styrofoams are not going anywhere.

Why recycling matters

Recycling does two things: it saves energy and cuts back on pollution. 

Furthermore, it conserves our natural resources. 

Without recycling, creating a clean and safe environment would be impossible. 

Thus, the next generation won’t have a planet to live on.

What is Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is a polystyrene foam material. 

Companies use it to insulate boards, roofs, walls, and packaging commodities. 

It’s a number six plastic that may last for over 500 years.

Most people understand the importance of recycling. 

But they are not sure if they can recycle Styrofoam. 

They would have no choice but to dispose of it. 

What they don’t know is Styrofoam can pollute water supplies for humans and marine life.

What are the properties of Styrofoam?

One of the properties of Styrofoam is thermoplastic. 

Hence, it’s possible to mold Styrofoam.

Styrofoam comes from a petroleum-based product, styrene. 

It expands under pressure in an extrusion process. 

After that, it will become a full Styrofoam product. 

It has 98% air, which makes it a pretty lightweight item.

What we can use Styrofoam for

Companies use Styrofoam for a variety of uses. 

For example, company XYZ may produce Styrofoam for various roofing materials. 

Or, manufacture building insulation and pipe insulation to prevent soil disturbances.

Companies and individuals also use Styrofoam for the following:

  • Crafts

We can use Styrofoam for various craft projects. For example, decorating crafts with stunning pieces like beads. Or to give garments a unique look.

  • Food industry

The food industry uses Styrofoam a lot to wrap food. 

For leftovers that patrons take home from restaurants. 

Or beverages, coolers, and other similar items. 

What makes it popular is because it is affordable and can insulate food well.

Can you put Styrofoam in the recycling bin?

Yes, you can put Styrofoam in the recycling bin. 

While there are few recycling facilities for Styrofoam, it is still vital. 

But before you do, make sure that your municipality bin accepts Styrofoam. 

If you have large pieces of Styrofoam, it is always advisable to break them. 

Needless to say, if you don’t break them, they may take a lot of room.

Use one of the following easy tips to break them:

  • You can break them using your strong shoe or boot.
  • Use the bin to balance each piece.
  • Get a small step bench, and put in Styrofoam on it.
  • Stomp on it hard.
  • Or crush it with your heel.
  • Please put them in a bin.

Is Styrofoam Packaging Recyclable?

Yes, your Styrofoam packaging is recyclable. 

You can use it to build new toys for your kids, packaging, and other material. 

Sometimes use chemicals to recycle them at home.

If you can’t find any recycling facility, consider taking them to your retailer. 

Some retailers reuse Styrofoam to package new products. 

This way, they don’t have to reproduce new styrofoams. 

Most people continue throwing Styrofoam anywhere. 

That’s why today, you are likely to see a piece of Styrofoam floating in seawater. 

They can’t grasp the fact that Styrofoam is harmful to our environment. 

For those people, we can only inspire them with our responsible actions. 

As soon as they realize that it’s possible to recycle Styrofoam, they will emulate us.

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