Foam Facts

Get the facts on foam from misconceptions to recycling and more. It's everything you need to know about polystyrene and the environment.

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Join the Recycling

Do you know of a location not listed for foam #6 recycling, or want to get your company listed as a drop-off location? 

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Recycling Locations

Find a recycling center close to you that accepts Foam #6 - foam cups and containers, foam packaging and peanuts, and more. 

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  • Myth: Polystyrene is not recyclable. +

    Fact: Polystyrene IS recyclable! Polystyrene is recycled into many valuable new products, such as picture frames, coat hangers, seedling trays, cornices and moldings, baseboards, office supplies and fire-retardant materials. There is a growing market for recycled polystyrene. And with the addition of PolyRenew™, polystyrene is now being recycled in food service applications as well. To learn more about polystyrene recycling visit www.epsindustry.org and www.plasticsfoodservicefacts.com.

  • Myth: Polystyrene is taking up large amounts of landfill space. +

    Fact: Polystyrene foodservice packaging currently accounts for less than 1 percent by weight and volume of land-filled materials.
  • Myth: CFCs are used in the production of foam polystyrene. +

    Fact: No CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) are used in the manufacturing of foam polystyrene.
  • Myth: Polystyrene is not a good food-packaging container,
               as chemicals can leach out. +

    Fact: Polystyrene meets stringent U.S. FDA standards for use in food contact packaging and is safe for consumers. Health organizations encourage the use of single-use food service products, including polystyrene, because they provide increased food safety. In fact, Safe Food Handling Practices, particularly those associated with un-cooked meats, have become much easier to ensure with the use of polystyrene packaging which captures but does not absorb fluids like pulp trays.
  • Myth: Paperboard coffee cups are better than polystyrene ones. +

    Fact: In most cases, polystyrene food service foam packaging has an environmental footprint that is lower than or comparable to alternative packages. For example, a polystyrene foam 16 oz. cup for hot beverages uses 50 percent less energy to produce, produces 1/3 fewer greenhouse gas emissions and produces 50 percent less solid waste by volume compared to a paperboard 16 oz. cup with a sleeve.
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