Styrofoam/Polystyrene

The term STYROFOAM is often used to refer to expanded polystyrene even though the materials are completely different.  Styrofoam is often used in the manufacture of packing peanuts, cups, plastic tableware, meat trays, “take-out” food containers and as form fitting packaging.

STYROFOAM™ is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) or an affiliated company of Dow. The trademark covers a full range of extruded polystyrene building products used primarily for insulation of floors, walls and roof systems. The insulation panels are commonly referred to as “blue board” in the construction industry.

Dow Chemical’s STYROFOAM Brand Foam also covers a full range of foam products for the floral, craft and special events industries. These products are available in sheets, blocks, spheres, cones and many other shapes. They are available to the consumer from major craft and floral retailers throughout the country.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), is the generic industry name for a white rigid material made by expanding polystyrene beads with steam and bonding the beads together under pressure in a block or shape mold. EPS is used in the construction industry for insulation and void fill. It is also used in a variety of packaging applications including coolers, wine shippers, molded end caps and corners. It can be cut into an unlimited variety of shapes.

The same properties that make polystyrene an excellent packaging material – its light weight, low cost and strength – make it difficult to recycle. The cost of trucking polystyrene to a recycling plant is cost-prohibitive and it has low scrap value. Because styrofoam food containers are usually contaminated, they require cleaning before they can be processed for recycling, another factor which makes recycling generally infeasible.

STYROFOAM PRODUCTS, MOST OFTEN USED AS PACKING MATERIAL, ARE NOT RECYCLABLE IN NORTHERN ILLINOIS!

Styrofoam may be disposed of in the regular trash collection!

Last Update:  01/27/12