... Food waste is a growing, worldwide problem. This adds up to about a ton of trash per person every year that eventually ends up in a landfill. The primary data source on the generation of plastics is the American Chemistry Council. Paper recycling also saves trees and contributes to an overall savings when compared to Styrofoam. The use of Styrofoam or other foamed polystyrene products is a personal choice. Food service containers must be clean or rinsed. It takes approximately 201 tons worth of aluminum cans to make a Boeing 747. 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. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. Landfills are filling up at a record rate and Styrofoam is one reason. Check with local packaging stores in your area; most of them will accept Styrofoam pellets for reuse. Styrofoam has the potential to affect the entire ecological system of this planet. According to The California Department of Conservation, the costs of recycling styrofoam amounts to $3000 per single ton. © 2021 Collier County, FL. 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. ... Over 40% of all U.S. municipal solid waste consists of paper and paperboard products. Every day, approximately 1,369 tons of Styrofoam is buried into U.S. landfills. In general, the … All Rights Reserved. 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. Some estimates put the lifespan of styrofoam in a landfill around 500 years, and some put it way beyond that. High density polyethylene (HDPE) natural bottles were recycled at a rate of 30.3 percent in 2015 and 31.2 percent in 2017. Styrofoam that ends up in landfills does not break down at all. In 2018, plastics generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States, which was 12.2 … He emphasizes alternative approaches to health-related issues. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Since "extruded polystyrene foam" is a little wordy, we'll call it EPS or polystyrene in this article. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash. 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 world. The process of making polystyrene pollutes the air and creates large amounts of liquid and solid waste. Please enable JavaScript in your browser for a better user experience. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. Some companies are also getting with the program. Health effects from exposure to styrene include irritation of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract and gastrointestinal problems. Instead of cleaning up, just toss out paper plates, foam cups and plastic cutlery. A plastic or styrofoam cup used for a few minutes takes approximately 400 years to decompose. Another method to reduce the use of Styrofoam is choosing eco-friendly alternative products instead. And keep in mind that the US alone makes around 3 million tons of styrofoam per year. Styrofoam makes up a large fraction of the constituent waste. Styrofoam containers are known as polystyrene (PS) containers. 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. 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. greenmaxpl. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. ... the magnitude of plastic waste is well-tracked and some researchers specifically question its … If used properly, it is an economical, sanitary product, with low environmental risks. Easily recycled, paper is good for shipping and product packaging. May 19, 2020 Log in to Reply. But across the country, plastic foam bans have passed in more than 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine. Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. EPA measures the generation, recycling, composting, combustion with energy recovery and landfilling of plastic materials in municipal solid waste. A Recycling Revolution reports that packaging material makes up one-third of an average dump. The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. Researchers believe this may help with plastic waste. That’s a lot of avoidable waste. The results of our analyses suggest that the real cost of Styrofoam outweighs the … We choose egg cartons made of hard plastic or cardboard or take a reusable coffee cup rather than grabbing a disposable Styrofoam cup. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris, which includes Styrofoam products, kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually. By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the … 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 … That works out to the equivalent of 208 Olympic-sized swimming pools of styro-waste every year. Take a look at the full impact of styrofoam in the infographic below from Green Cell Foam. Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Use compostable paper or reusable dinnerware. The fact that Styrofoam is non-biodegradable adds to the ecological impact. We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year. Compostable food service packaging is very trendy right now as an “ecologically correct” option. Compared to Styrofoam, these two new eco-friendly alternatives help reduce pollution and conserve landfill airspace. The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. About one-third of an average landfill's waste is made up of packaging material. Statistics The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. Styrofoam does not degrade or break down over time. 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. 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. The packaging and food industries  have begun  introducing environmental friendly packaging alternatives to the market, such as air cushions and biodegradable food packaging. In our individual efforts to reach Zero Waste, many of us try to avoid plastic foam (also known as Styrofoam) packaging. 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. Always remember to PRECYCLE, reduce waste at the waste source  and choose environmentally friendly products. Because of the amount of air in its structure, Styrofoam is considered to be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form. When the bottom li… 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. Styrofoam is a Dow Chemical Company trademark for a specific type of extruded polystyrene (EPS) foam used only for art supplies and insulation. Back in California, Caltrans reports that 15% of the total litter volume recovered from storm drains is polystyrene. The polystyrene manufacturing process is the 5th largest creator of hazardous waste. 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. Over half of the world’s plastic thrown out in 2015 was plastic packaging. One common estimate is that styrofoam can take up 30 percent of the space in some landfills. Once in the landfill, it does not decompose quickly. Some businesses collect  Styrofoam for reuse and recycling. Styrofoam is a lot like a plastic bag: it can sit in landfills for centuries, and it’s toxic when burned. 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. 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