If you are a recycling guru like ourselves, you may already know the answer to this question. However, for those of us searching for specific answers to more in-depth recycling questions, it’s always good to open the floor for discussion. Today at Ever Green Environmental, we are talking about the difficulty of recycling styrofoam. Yes, the dreaded styrofoam. It’s important for you to know that we aren’t blaming anyone for using it because so many people simply just don’t know how harmful it actually is! In order for you to understand that, you must first understand what styrofoam actually is and why reducing waste may be as important as recycling.
While your coffee and lemonade served at your local fast food joint is delicious, there have been countless battles to get them to use a better cup! Styrofoam is the brand name for expanded polystyrene, EPS. EPS is used for many different reasons. Most popularly known amongst consumers would be cups at fast food restaurants and even some plate ware. It’s also used for packaging larger items like appliances, furniture and electronics. As consumers, we have an obligation to choose whether or not we will use styrofoam.
What Makes it Bad?
So what makes recycling and using styrofoam so bad? What’s the big deal? Can you, in fact, recycle it? The absolute correct answer to that question would be yes, you can recycle styrofoam. The more thorough answer is yes, but it just isn’t worth it. EPS is a great product because it is lightweight and can come in all different shapes and sizes. For this same reason, it’s much more costly to recycle. Recycling is calculated by weight. Because it is so lightweight, recycling high volumes of it does not cover the cost of transportation, handling, and processing. The thought is, why would we pay to recycle something when the energy it takes to recycle the item ends up costing more?
What Can You Do?
So how can you help become part of the solution instead of the problem? You can always try to avoid vendors that use styrofoam. If you do receive it, reuse it for shipping something of your own or take it somewhere that will reuse it.
For more information on recycling styrofoam and other products, contact Ever Green Environmental today. With over 25 years of experience in the recycling business, we are your go to provider for all of your recycling concerns. For more information, contact us today at 864.230.9800.