Polystyrene, a.k.a. Styrofoam®
Oh, Styrofoam…thou art a dunghill villain and a petrol-fed knave…or words to that effect. Elizabethan insults aside, polystyrene is petroleum-based, contains potentially carcinogenic components and takes eons to biodegrade. Currently, recycling markets for polystyrene are extremely limited, so using less—or none at all!—is the best policy. For instance, take home your restaurant leftovers in a reusable tupperware container. Use your own to-go coffee mug for that mocha latte.
But there are some recycling options. If you get a package with polystyrene peanuts, take them to a packing store such as FedEx or UPS. These folks love free product…and you’ll love keeping those plastic non-legumes out of the landfill.
In the Houston area, there is one drop-off location for foam: the Fort Bend County Recycling Center. In Central Texas, the one drop-off spot is Cycled Plastics. These might be a far trip for most of us, but perhaps it will appear closer if you imagine instead everyone’s Styrofoam stacked in piles of stinking, toxic garbage hundreds of feet tall for thousands of years.