The fact that Styrofoam is non-biodegradable adds to the ecological impact. Landfills are filling up at a record rate and Styrofoam is one reason. With enough Styrofoam cups produced each day to circle the earth if lined up end to end, the potential for major ecological impact is great. However if it is burned in a normal fire instead of in a specialized incinerator, it releases pollutants such as carbon black and carbon monoxide. All Rights Reserved. Some companies are also getting with the program. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. Call to schedule large deliveries. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. According to The Way To Go environmental group, Hong Kong landfills disposed of 135 tons of polystyrene waste every day in 2006. Back in California, Caltrans reports that 15% of the total litter volume recovered from storm drains is polystyrene. Take your unwanted packaging pellets/peanuts to a local packing and shipping store for reuse. Of course, some fraction of all discarded styrofoam … We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year. Agbogbloshie e-waste dump, Accra, Ghana. It is really useful to recycle foam waste with the help of popular foam recycling densifier, estimated to have more than 40-90 times reduction ratio, as for the densified eps ingots ,can be sold back to end-users to make money. In our individual efforts to reach Zero Waste, many of us try to avoid plastic foam (also known as Styrofoam) packaging. 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Despite regulations across Canada encouraging the collection and recycling of Styrofoam, 80 per cent of it ends up in Canada’s landfills and environment. Food service containers must be clean or rinsed. Chronic exposure affects the nervous system, causing symptoms like depression, headache, fatigue and weakness, and minor effects on kidney function and blood. This figure includes 63 million pounds of post-consumer packaging and 55.7 million pounds of post-industrial recovery. In general, the … Researchers believe this may help with plastic waste. He emphasizes alternative approaches to health-related issues. That’s … Styrofoam containers are known as polystyrene (PS) containers. University of Washington: Amazing Facts about Recycling, A Recycling Revolution: Aluminum Recycling Facts. The packaging and food industries  have begun  introducing environmental friendly packaging alternatives to the market, such as air cushions and biodegradable food packaging. The solution to the Styrofoam problem is finding and using alternative materials. By the end of this year, McDonald’s will phase out foam cups and containers worldwide, in favor of 100% recycled materials. But across the country, plastic foam bans have passed in more than 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine. Information on recycling of Styrofoam packaging can be found in Table 8 of the 2016 and 2017 Data Tables. Another method to reduce the use of Styrofoam is choosing eco-friendly alternative products instead. Advantages of Using Foamed … The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. The Bantar Gebang dump in Bekasi, Indonesia . © 2021 Collier County, FL. Typically, those undertaking Styrofoam recycling have done so by operating at a loss — spending around $1,000 to recoup $200 worth of Styrofoam. One common estimate is that styrofoam can take up 30 percent of the space in some landfills. Additionally, Styrofoam harms marine life. ... Food waste is a growing, worldwide problem. Since "extruded polystyrene foam" is a little wordy, we'll call it EPS or polystyrene in this article. Polystyrene is manufactured with HCFC-22, a green house gas that affects the ozone layer, and petroleum, a non-sustainable and highly … He is certified as a sports nutritionist by the International Fitness Association. The use of Styrofoam or other foamed polystyrene products is a personal choice. greenmaxpl. Styrofoam is a Dow Chemical Company trademark for a specific type of extruded polystyrene (EPS) foam used only for art supplies and insulation. Recycling Styrofoam Confirm you have plain white Styrofoam. Styrofoam makes up a large fraction of the constituent waste. Paper recycling also saves trees and contributes to an overall savings when compared to Styrofoam. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. Statistics of Styrofoam waste The Earth Resources Foundation reports. I just wanted to say that there is a brand new Recycling Product called a Styrofoam Densifier which melts the Styrofoam in a ratio of 90:1 into a “rope-patty.” The Styrofoam is then bought back by the company that manufactures the densifiers, and the “recycled” styrofoam is transformed into eye-glass and … Over 90,000 workers face exposure to the effects of styrene, the basic building block of polystyrene, each year in industries such as rubber and fiberglass manufacturing companies. By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the world. Styrofoam that ends up in landfills does not break down at all. Styrofoam has the potential to affect the entire ecological system of this planet. Learn more: From the land to the sea – How what we throw away ends up in the ocean That single-use Styrofoam cup doesn't just go away after you toss it in the bin. This strategy may work in the short term for not-for-profit organizations like municipal recycling facilities, but getting businesses on board has always been a hard sell. According to Washington University, Styrofoam takes 500 years to decompose; it cannot be recycled, so the Styrofoam cups dumped in landfills are there to stay. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash. Over 90,000 workers face exposure to the effects of styrene, the material in Styrofoam, each year in industries such as rubber and fiberglass manufacturing companies. Styrofoam is a trademark named for a chemical compound called polystyrene. If used properly, it is an economical, sanitary product, with low environmental risks. The ubiquitous single-use plastic takes up 30% of landfill space- about 2.5 million tons or so of Styrofoam goes to the landfill every single year. However, like most options in life, trade-offs exist and disposable doesn’t win in every comparison versus “real”, reusable foodware. Take a look at the full impact of styrofoam in the infographic below from Green Cell Foam. Health effects from exposure to styrene include irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems. Due to the environmental impact, many cities and countries have implemented a banned on the commercial use of Styrofoam, including California; Seattle, Washington; Manila, Philippines; Toronto, Canada; Paris, France; Portland Oregon; and Taiwan). ... Over 40% of all U.S. municipal solid waste consists of paper and paperboard products. And keep in mind that the US alone makes around 3 million tons of styrofoam per year. On average, each one of us puts out about 5 pounds of trash a day. Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. May 19, 2020 Log in to Reply. A typical family consumes 182 gallons of soda, 29 gallons of juice, 104 gallons of milk, and 26 gallons of bottled water a year. Make sure foam has the #6 chasing arrow symbol and place foam in clear sealed bags. Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. This represents an estimated hidden cost equivalent to 1.2 cents per Styrofoam cup produced. Paper products are biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment. Styrofoam can be destroyed if it is incinerated at extremely high temperatures, creating only a small amount of water and carbon as by products. Statistics The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. We choose egg cartons made of hard plastic or cardboard or take a reusable coffee cup rather than grabbing a disposable Styrofoam cup. Styrofoam products have the tendency of easily breaking apart into small pieces making it a choke hazard to animals. It takes approximately 201 tons worth of aluminum cans to make a Boeing 747. Always remember to PRECYCLE, reduce waste at the waste source  and choose environmentally friendly products. Styrofoam is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. The U.S. is the biggest trash producer in the world, filling America's landfills at an alarming rate. When the bottom li… The results of our analyses suggest that the real cost of Styrofoam outweighs the … Instead of cleaning up, just toss out paper plates, foam cups and plastic cutlery. Mealworms have microgramisms in their gut that can biodegrade Styrofoam. 3 million tons of Styrofoam are produced in the USA annually, 80% of which is destined for the trash. Styrene leaches into foods and drinks served in Styrofoam containers, and according to the Earth Resource Foundation, the manufacture of Styrofoam releases large amounts of ozone into the atmosphere, causing respiratory and environmental issues. Based on different internet resources, every single ton of Styrofoam that we do not use and therefore don't need to produce can save about 12 trees, 1,087 lbs of solid waste, 1,560 kW of energy, 1,196 gal of water, 1,976 lbs of greenhouse gases, 3 yd3 landfill space and 390 gal oil. Our model estimates the total hidden costs of Styrofoam (for the current production output of 3 million tons) at $7 billion annually. Buy your eggs packaged in recycled paper cartons or recyclable material. According to the EPA, Americans trash approximately 25 billion Styrofoam cups and take-out containers every year. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris, which includes Styrofoam products, kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually. The polystyrene manufacturing process is the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste. And although it only makes up roughly 2% of waste by weight, it takes up a whopping 30% in volume of overall solid waste, primarily due to its widespread use in product packaging. In addition, with billions of Styrofoam cups used yearly in convenience stores, restaurants and lunchrooms ending up in landfills, some cities have banned the use of Styrofoam. Every year Americans waste enough polystyrene that it could circle the Earth 426 times. Health effects from exposure to styrene are irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems. By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the … A recycled aluminum can is back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days. That's a lot of containers - make sure they're recycled! Receives around 192,000 tonnes of e-waste annually; Pollutes soil, air and water and causes serious health threats for the 10,000 people making a living from sorting and recycling. Styrene is classified as a possible human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency and by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Over half of the world’s plastic thrown out in 2015 was plastic packaging. The Department of Sanitation concluded that expanded polystyrene cannot be recycled, despite the fact that many of the containers display the recycling symbol.. Plus, Styrofoam … The Ocean Protection Council estimates costs to clean up marine debris are close to $1 billion annually. One tree yields about 700 paper grocery bags, which will be consumed in less than 1 hour by a supermarket. This Plastic Film Recycling (PFR) and Collection System blog is created to inform industry of an enhanced film, shrink wrap, plastic bubble wrap, styrofoam collection system that effectively aids your organization in the collection of these bulky waste streams. No packaging peanuts or foam insulation. But even for conscientious consumers, sometimes Styrofoam … These recycling facts and information was compiled from various sources including the National Recycling Coalition, the Environmental Protection Agency, High County Conservation Center, Earth Resource Foundation, LiveStrong.com, All-Recycling-Facts.com, and Earth911.org. No straws, lids, plastic wrap or trash. Styrofoam and Styrofoam products fill up 30 percent of our landfill space, and landfills are fast becoming full. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. A plastic or styrofoam cup used for a few minutes takes approximately 400 years to decompose. Please enable JavaScript in your browser for a better user experience. According to a 2004 study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, of the 377,580 tons of polystyrene produced in the state, only 0.8% is recycled. Used in product packages and the shipping industry, the world produces tons of it each year. Styrofoam is a lot like a plastic bag: it can sit in landfills for centuries, and it’s toxic when burned. Well, Americans throw away millions of polystyrene cups annually … and that’s not including all of the other EPS waste we use throughout the day. Five percent of the world's population generate 40 percent of the world's trash. Your Government » Departments » Public Utilities Department » Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division » Keeping Green / Helpful Information Page. The primary data source on the generation of plastics is the American Chemistry Council. The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. A recent report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce found that, in 2012, 80 per cent of styrofoam waste in Canada, more than 6,500 tonnes, ended up … Recycling 14 trees worth of paper reduces air pollutants by 165,142 tons. Check with local packaging stores in your area; most of them will accept Styrofoam pellets for reuse. It is a light-weight material, about 95% air with very good insulation properties. However, used improperly, it can quickly become an unsightly environmental nuisance and does have potential health risks. About one-third of an average landfill's waste is made up of packaging material. High density polyethylene (HDPE) natural bottles were recycled at a rate of 30.3 percent in 2015 and 31.2 percent in 2017. In 1986, Styrofoam manufacturers were the 5th largest producer of toxic waste. Once in the landfill, it does not decompose quickly. | Website Design by Granicus - Connecting People and Government, Every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 60,000 gallons of water, 225 kilowatt hours of electricity, 350. pounds of limestone, 275 pounds of sulfur, 9,000 pounds of steam, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill airspace. In 2018, plastics generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States, which was 12.2 … The DOW Chemical Company is the owner of several registrations for the trademark Styrofoam® which is used on Dow’s plastic foam insulation and construction products for use in residential, commercial, and … Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Easily recycled, paper is good for shipping and product packaging. EPA measures the generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling of plastic materials in municipal solid waste. Use compostable paper or reusable dinnerware. Compostable food service packaging is very trendy right now as an “ecologically correct” option. The U.S. annually uses over 75 million tons of paper and paperboard - about 600 pounds per person - and we currently recycle about 20 … The process of making polystyrene pollutes the air and creates large amounts of liquid and solid waste. Some estimates put the lifespan of styrofoam in a landfill around 500 years, and some put it way beyond that. ... the magnitude of plastic waste is well-tracked and some researchers specifically question its … According to The California Department of Conservation, the costs of recycling styrofoam amounts to $3000 per single ton. Because of the amount of air in its structure, Styrofoam is considered to be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form. Every day, approximately 1,369 tons of Styrofoam is buried into U.S. landfills. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. Every day, approximately 1,369 tons of Styrofoam is buried into U.S. landfills. That works out to the equivalent of 208 Olympic-sized swimming pools of styro-waste every year. That’s a lot of avoidable waste. Recycled paper products are the best alternative, according to Earth Resource Foundation. Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Styrofoam can harm animals that scavenge food from landfills. Some businesses collect  Styrofoam for reuse and recycling. Compared to Styrofoam, these two new eco-friendly alternatives help reduce pollution and conserve landfill airspace. Request aluminum foil instead of a take out box from your favorite restaurant. This adds up to about a ton of trash per person every year that eventually ends up in a landfill. As per conservative estimates, hundreds of thousands of tons of waste polystyrene is produced in the Middle East and sent to landfills each year. Little graduated from Texas Chiropractic College with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. 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One tree yields about 700 paper grocery bags, which will be consumed in less than 1 hour a. Polystyrene manufacturing process is the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste, a recycling Revolution: recycling... The equivalent of 208 Olympic-sized swimming pools of styro-waste every year Americans waste enough polystyrene it! Human carcinogen by the environmental Protection Agency and by the end of this planet:. Usa annually, 80 % of all U.S. municipal solid waste win in every versus! Pollutes the air and creates large amounts of liquid and solid waste also saves trees and contributes to overall! 426 times shelf as a possible human carcinogen by the end of this planet, wrap... That 15 % of all U.S. municipal solid waste and packaging products fifth largest producer of toxic waste every. Materials in municipal solid waste the market, such as air cushions and biodegradable food packaging sure they 're!! Than grabbing a disposable Styrofoam cup worldwide, in favor of 100 % recycled.! 500 years, and it’s toxic when burned growing, worldwide problem of liquid and waste!