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. 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All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Request aluminum foil instead of a take out box from your favorite restaurant. Styrofoam has the potential to affect the entire ecological system of this planet. That’s a lot of avoidable waste. That's a lot of containers - make sure they're recycled! 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. The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. Every day, approximately 1,369 tons of Styrofoam is buried into U.S. landfills. The process of making polystyrene pollutes the air and creates large amounts of liquid and solid waste. 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. Statistics The Earth Resource Foundation reports that Styrofoam manufacturers were the fifth largest producer of toxic waste in 1986. Paper products are biodegradable and non-toxic to the environment. He emphasizes alternative approaches to health-related issues. Styrofoam containers are known as polystyrene (PS) containers. 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 major environmental problem. Landfills are filling up at a record rate and Styrofoam is one reason. Some companies are also getting with the program. If used properly, it is an economical, sanitary product, with low environmental risks. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, plastic debris, which includes Styrofoam products, kills an estimated 100,000 marine mammals annually. Our model estimates the total hidden costs of Styrofoam (for the current production output of 3 million tons) at $7 billion annually. According to the EPA, Americans trash approximately 25 billion Styrofoam cups and take-out containers every year. No straws, lids, plastic wrap or trash. Styrofoam is a lot like a plastic bag: it can sit in landfills for centuries, and it’s toxic when burned. 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. Since "extruded polystyrene foam" is a little wordy, we'll call it EPS or polystyrene in this article. In general, the … Researchers believe this may help with plastic waste. 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. Compostable food service packaging is very trendy right now as an “ecologically correct” option. We choose egg cartons made of hard plastic or cardboard or take a reusable coffee cup rather than grabbing a disposable Styrofoam cup. 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. Take a look at the full impact of styrofoam in the infographic below from Green Cell Foam. This adds up to about a ton of trash per person every year that eventually ends up in a landfill. This figure includes 63 million pounds of post-consumer packaging and 55.7 million pounds of post-industrial recovery. 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. In our individual efforts to reach Zero Waste, many of us try to avoid plastic foam (also known as Styrofoam) packaging. Agbogbloshie e-waste dump, Accra, Ghana. A recycled aluminum can is back on the grocery shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days. We use over 80,000,000,000 aluminum soda cans every year. ... the magnitude of plastic waste is well-tracked and some researchers specifically question its … 3 million tons of Styrofoam are produced in the USA annually, 80% of which is destined for the trash. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash. Chronic exposure affects the nervous system, causing symptoms like depression, headache, fatigue and weakness, and minor effects on kidney function and blood. Styrofoam is resistant to photolysis or the breaking down of materials by photons originating from a light … But across the country, plastic foam bans have passed in more than 200 cities and other communities, from Portland, Ore., to Portland, Maine. The Ocean Protection Council estimates costs to clean up marine debris are close to $1 billion annually. 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. That works out to the equivalent of 208 Olympic-sized swimming pools of styro-waste every year. By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the world. 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. NotesDrop-off: food service foam and packaging products. ... Over 40% of all U.S. municipal solid waste consists of paper and paperboard products. Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Some estimates put the lifespan of styrofoam in a landfill around 500 years, and some put it way beyond that. University of Washington: Amazing Facts about Recycling, A Recycling Revolution: Aluminum Recycling Facts. © 2021 Collier County, FL. In 2018, plastics generation was 35.7 million tons in the United States, which was 12.2 … Mealworms have microgramisms in their gut that can biodegrade Styrofoam. 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. No packaging peanuts or foam insulation. The packaging and food industries  have begun  introducing environmental friendly packaging alternatives to the market, such as air cushions and biodegradable food packaging. About one-third of an average landfill's waste is made up of packaging material. Use compostable paper or reusable dinnerware. The primary data source on the generation of plastics is the American Chemistry Council. The results of our analyses suggest that the real cost of Styrofoam outweighs the … 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 … Information on recycling of Styrofoam packaging can be found in Table 8 of the 2016 and 2017 Data Tables. Take your unwanted packaging pellets/peanuts to a local packing and shipping store for reuse. 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. Your Government » Departments » Public Utilities Department » Solid & Hazardous Waste Management Division » Keeping Green / Helpful Information Page. Another method to reduce the use of Styrofoam is choosing eco-friendly alternative products instead. Styrofoam does not degrade or break down over time. Make sure foam has the #6 chasing arrow symbol and place foam in clear sealed bags. A plastic or styrofoam cup used for a few minutes takes approximately 400 years to decompose. 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 the end of this year, McDonald’s will phase out foam cups and containers worldwide, in favor of 100% recycled materials. According to The Way To Go environmental group, Hong Kong landfills disposed of 135 tons of polystyrene waste every day in 2006. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. Additionally, Styrofoam harms marine life. Advantages of Using Foamed … But even for conscientious consumers, sometimes Styrofoam … By volume, Styrofoam products fill up 25 to 30 percent of landfill space around the … Buy your eggs packaged in recycled paper cartons or recyclable material. Despite regulations across Canada encouraging the collection and recycling of Styrofoam, 80 per cent of it ends up in Canada’s landfills and environment. Back in California, Caltrans reports that 15% of the total litter volume recovered from storm drains is polystyrene. 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 … | 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. Styrofoam and Styrofoam products fill up 30 percent of our landfill space, and landfills are fast becoming full. The use of Styrofoam or other foamed polystyrene products is a personal choice. It is a light-weight material, about 95% air with very good insulation properties. Recycling Styrofoam Confirm you have plain white Styrofoam. Little graduated from Texas Chiropractic College with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Every year Americans waste enough polystyrene that it could circle the Earth 426 times. Styrofoam is a major environmental problem. High density polyethylene (HDPE) natural bottles were recycled at a rate of 30.3 percent in 2015 and 31.2 percent in 2017. When the bottom li… greenmaxpl. Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year. Food service containers must be clean or rinsed. Once in the landfill, it does not decompose quickly. 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). A Recycling Revolution reports that packaging material makes up one-third of an average dump. 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. He is certified as a sports nutritionist by the International Fitness Association. Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. Compared to Styrofoam, these two new eco-friendly alternatives help reduce pollution and conserve landfill airspace. Because of the amount of air in its structure, Styrofoam is considered to be unsinkable and capable of maintaining its form. Landfills are quickly filling up and Styrofoam is an active contributor occupying more space than other waste. Over half of the world’s plastic thrown out in 2015 was plastic packaging. 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