America Recycles Day is annually observed on November 15th to inspire Americans to recycle and buy recycled products. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates $9 billion worth of materials are sent to the landfill each year. Whether its metal, plastic, glass, electronics or paper, these materials consume a vast amount of resources during the extraction, manufacturing and transportation process.
Foamed polystyrene feels light, but its environmental impact is heavy.
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.
I have a couple of pet peeves. Noisy eaters, sentences that end with prepositions, when my three boys leave the toilet seat up and stinky feet all bother me. Well, maybe I have more than just a couple. My pet peeve of all pet peeves is styrofoam. It just bugs me. It annoys me. It’s simply not needed.
Styrofoam containers have reached near iconic status as symbols of rampant pollution. They take hundreds of years to biodegrade, contain suspected carcinogens, and are not accepted in the vast majority of recycling programs nationwide. In response to these and other concerns, the California Senate has voted to approve a recent bill authored by Sen.