Polystyrene foam is everywhere. You see it in food packaging, construction insulation, disposable cups and plates, packaging materials and even your car’s seat cushions. Polystyrene is lightweight, rigid plastic made from petroleum that’s used to make a wide range of products including food containers, disposable cups and plates, construction insulation, styrofoam cups, and shipping boxes to name just a few. But polystyrene foam has its share of problems too: It can leach chemicals into your food because it breaks down into tiny pieces that are impossible to clean up; those tiny pieces end up inside the bodies of fish and sea birds where they disrupt hormones; more than 6 billion pounds of polystyrene foam are produced annually worldwide; there’s no evidence that polystyrene biodegrades in landfills which means its small bits stay around forever; China has banned the use and production of polystyrene foam products as have Taiwan and New York City (though not many other cities).
Polystyrene foam is a lightweight and rigid plastic made from petroleum.
Polystyrene foam is a lightweight and rigid plastic made from petroleum. It’s commonly used for insulation, packaging, and soundproofing, but its use has been declining in recent years due to environmental concerns about the energy-intensive process of producing polystyrene.
Polystyrene foam is made by combining styrene monomers with other chemicals in a process called foaming, in which gases are blown through liquid polystyrene to create bubbles that trap air inside them. The resulting material is then hardened into solid sheets or blocks by blowing hot air over it while it sits between rollers during manufacturing.
The chemical makeup of polystyrene foam varies depending on what type of plasticizer—a substance that makes the polymer more flexible—is added during production. When choosing their preferred plasticizers, companies have several options: they can choose different types of phthalates (which may be regulated by the federal government), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), benzophenone-type compounds or perfluoroalkyl sulfonate esters (PFASs).The uses for polystyrene vary widely based on its density as well as what additives were used during production; however all forms will retain heat well while being light enough not to weigh down objects such as shipping pallets too much when used indoors.”
It’s used to make a wide range of products including food containers, disposable cups and plates, construction insulation, styrofoam cups, and shipping boxes to name just a few.
Polystyrene foam is used to make a wide range of products including food containers, disposable cups and plates, construction insulation, styrofoam cups and more.
The polystyrene foam used in food containers can leach chemicals that act like hormones into our food.
While polystyrene foam is made from petroleum, it is used to make a wide range of products including cups, plates and egg cartons. In addition to food containers, polystyrene foam is also common in packaging materials such as CD cases, protective packaging for electronics and even some toys!
While the material itself can be recycled into other products after use (e.g., it can be turned into plastic lumber), this process requires energy which adds to its carbon footprint. Additionally, some recycling facilities are not equipped with the technology needed for handling polystyrene foam which means that much of what we throw away ends up in landfills instead of being reused again—a major source of pollution.
While there are benefits associated with using this material (e.g., cost effectiveness) it may be best if you avoid using polystyrene foam whenever possible due to potential health risks associated with leaching chemicals into your food or drink containers when heated up in the microwave ovens
When thrown away, polystyrene foam breaks down into tiny pieces that are impossible to clean up.
When polystyrene foam is thrown away, it breaks down into tiny pieces that are impossible to clean up. These tiny pieces are dangerous to sea life and humans because they can get stuck in the digestive system and cause problems. They also harm the ecosystem by washing up on shorelines where animals live, which kills them when they try to eat it.
The dangers of polystyrene foam are clear: If you want your city or state to be safer from pollution, then you need to stop using this product!
Polystyrene foam never biodegrades but merely gets smaller and smaller over time.
Polystyrene foam never biodegrades but merely gets smaller and smaller over time. In fact, it breaks down into smaller pieces that eventually end up in landfills or the ocean, where they will continue to pollute our environment. Recycling is not an option with polystyrene foam because even if you recycle it at home or in your office, there is no way to separate the different components of the material.
To make matters worse, when polystyrene is heated above 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 Celsius), it releases toxic gases that can damage your health and cause birth defects in children who touch it. Even if you don’t heat it enough for this chemical reaction to take place but still use hot water on your food tray or cup lid (which contains some amount of polystyrene), there are still risks associated with using this material since some of these chemicals may leach into any food product being stored inside them over time
The small bits of polystyrene foam often end up inside the bodies of fish, sea birds and many other marine animals.
The small bits of polystyrene foam often end up inside the bodies of fish, sea birds and many other marine animals. As you can see in the image below, it’s not hard to find examples of this phenomenon.
The problem is that microplastics are everywhere: they’re in your drinking water, air pollution, soil and even food items like beer. They’re in all kinds of plastic products—even those labeled biodegradable or compostable! Once the plastic is in our systems (via drinking water), it ends up in our guts where it can cause harm to our health.
More than 6 billion pounds of polystyrene foam are produced annually worldwide.
You may be surprised to learn that more than 6 billion pounds of polystyrene foam are produced annually worldwide. Polystyrene is used in many different applications, including construction, packaging and food service.
The United States produces more than 2 billion pounds each year, while Europe produces almost 3 billion pounds annually. In total, these numbers add up to approximately one-third of all plastic production worldwide.
In addition to its use in construction and packaging (think egg cartons), polystyrene foam is also found in disposable cups and plates made from expanded polystyrene (EPS). Because EPS can be recycled into new products, consumers can help reduce waste by using these items as long as possible before recycling them at collection centers or facilities for proper disposal.
It is estimated that more than 40% of the world’s commercial trash is comprised of polystyrene foam.
You might be surprised to learn that it is estimated that more than 40% of the world’s commercial trash is comprised of polystyrene foam. That’s a lot of waste, but what exactly is it? Polystyrene foam (PS) is a petroleum-based plastic commonly used in construction and manufacturing. It comes in two forms: expanded and extruded. In both forms, PS can be used to make many different products including food containers, disposable cups and plates, construction insulation for homes or buildings like warehouses or airplane hangars; styrofoam cups; shipping boxes; packaging peanuts; egg carton inserts; even garbage bags!
China has banned the use and production of polystyrene foam products as have Taiwan and New York City.
China, Taiwan and New York City have all banned polystyrene foam products. China banned their use in 2002 and Taiwan did the same in 2005. In 2017, New York City passed legislation that prohibits food service establishments from using polystyrene foam takeout containers or cups.
Polystyrene foam is pervasive but there are alternatives to using it for most applications
As you may have read in the last section, polystyrene foam is pervasive in our lives. But there are alternatives to using it for most applications.
- Polystyrene foam does not biodegrade and can remain in landfills for hundreds of years. It’s also difficult to recycle, as most recycling facilities don’t accept EPS (expanded polystyrene) because it yields lower-quality recycled material than other types of plastic. So if you want to be environmentally conscious, consider using a different type of packaging or finding an alternative way to protect your products during shipping and storage.
- In addition to being a non-renewable resource that takes years to break down, polystyrene foam isn’t very absorbent—it doesn’t soak up liquids like other types of plastic do—which means that any liquid that spills onto it will stay put until you clean up after yourself.*
Polystyrene foam is a material that has many uses. It’s lightweight and rigid, making it an ideal material for shipping goods around the world. Polystyrene can be used to make disposable cups and plates as well as construction insulation among other things. One of its most popular uses is food containers because they are inexpensive yet durable enough not to break easily when dropped on hard surfaces like concrete or pavement. Unfortunately, there is also evidence that this material may leach chemicals into your food when used extensively in packaging or consumed regularly by individuals who consume large amounts of fish from oceans where plastics have been dumped by careless humans who don’t want them anymore!