Great (and Not-So-Great) Moments in Styrofoam
Billkozy on 09/20/2008
|What most people usually refer to as styrofoam is really the most recognizable form of may kinds of foam polystyrene packaging. Polystyrene is created from erethylene and benzine and it is used in making many useful kinds of manufacturing material. Polystyrene is also used as a building material, as well as for many household items such as cups and plates. Styrofoam ® is actually a trademarked name. |
Unfortunately, Styrofoam ® products are hazardous to the environment, and to your health. When stored or especially when heated, it can leach the possibly human carcinogen styrene into foods. Styrene is also thought to disturb hormones, thus harming developing bodies in babies. And for some more bad news, it is not usually a part of residential recycling programs, even though it is labeled for recycling with the number 6. So let’s try either to get our communities to allow recycling the substance (admittedly it is relatively economically expensive) or better yet, let’s choose alternatives to Styrofoam. Safe plastics, which are also recyclable include the plastics #1-PETE #2HDPE, #4LDPE, and #5PP. However, try to avoid plastics #3-PVC, #6-PS, and #7, Polycarbonate, which are also hazardous to the environment and our health. Another safe alternative are biodegradable starch-based plastics. The safest and greenest choice of all is to use glass, ceramic and stoneware. They are recyclable and do not leach chemicals into our foods.
Here now is the history of “great” (wink wink) moments in Styrofoam.
Please rate the quiz afterward if you get the chance, and good luck!
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