What Do We Do With Polystyrene recycling ?
We find polystyrene in many situation, mostly used for packing boxes. This is because it offers protection for merchandise while still being very lightweight. The problem is that the polystyrene is no longer needed once we unpack the box, it is just there for protection during transport. So what do we do with old polystyrene?
Polystyrene foam is a semi-natural product. It is made from tree resin. But unlike most truly natural products it will not degrade over time and become part of the ecosystem, at least not under normal conditions. This has been an ongoing problem as the lightweight foam floats around on ocean and gets stuck in drains, where is can cause problems for wildlife.
Luckily, over the past 20 years, some discoveries and inventions have changed the situation. We now know how to deal with old polystyrene.
Small quantities of polystyrene foam can be fed to mealy worms. It has been discovered that these worms can not only eat but actually thrive on a diet of this foam.
Mealy worms are used for fishing bait, or for feeding birds or reptiles. So raising a colony of these worms is useful.
The only limitation is the amount of polystyrene we produce. It is unrealistic to have such large quantities eaten by worm. But at least foam can be used to feed home worn farms that are used by fishermen or per owners.
Some polystyrene foam is compressed and turned into plastic item, ranging from cutlery to furniture. This is a great way to use something that was formally seen as a waste product.
Because the polystyrene is compressed when it is recycled we actually use a lot more than anticipated. Expanded Foam is 98% air, where the recycled product is fairly solid. So one piece of recycled polystyrene furniture is made out of many old polystyrene packing containers.
Polystyrene is not collected in council cleanups or by other local recycling methods. Instead, it has to be taken to the specialized Polystyrene Disposal centre.
The problem with Polystyrene Disposal and transportation is that the foam material is o bulky. This makes transportation expensive.
Machines that melt or compress Polystyrene greatly reduce the transport costs.
Have your company’s Polystyrene waste compressed before it is Recycled. This significantly reduces the running costs.