Because You Asked: Can I Recycle Styrofoam?

Because You Asked: Can I Recycle Styrofoam?

Foamed polystyrene feels light, but its environmental impact is heavy.

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Friday, May 23, 2014 - 7:00am

CAMPAIGN: Live Green Blog


If you’re already recycling as much as you can, it seems likely that you’ve already found that your local waste hauler doesn’t accept foamed polystyrene. Foamed polystyrene, sometimes referred to generically by the brand name Styrofoam, is marked as plastic number 6 on items like foam cups and take-out containers. It has gained a notoriously bad environmental reputation because very few recycling programs accept it and it can sit in a landfill for centuries — facts that are especially problematic when Americans throw away millions of polystyrene cups away every year. Some cities, including New York City, have voted to ban polystyrene containers, and more are considering similar bans. Read more about what you can do.