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[greenyes] Its polystyrene not styrofoam


Hi All:

Just to be nit picky, or to be technically correct, the term for this
form of packaging is polystyrene not styrofoam. Styrofoam (tm) is a
trademarked material from DuPont and is actually wall insulation boards.
It is a material you would find in a construction or demolition site but
is not what I think most of you are talking about, like the single use
utensils and cups, loose fill packaging material or the block packaging
material is actually polystyrene. Also the programs that collect
polystyrene are probably collecting expanded polystyrene (eps) (e.g.,
white coffee cups) not extruded polystyrene (e.g., forks, spoons and
clear cups). Also note that much of the block packaging that looks like
polystyrene is actually polypropylene and the two can not be mixed with
out real problems at the end use manufacturing site.

And just for the sake of history, one of the old issues with EPS was the
blowing agent used to expand the plastic polymer. CFC and then HCFCs
(chlorofluorocarbons) used to be used and were considered a threat to the
ozone layer. The off gassing was a concern if a densifyer was going to
be used to make the transportation of PS more cost effective. Over the
years many manufacturers converted to CO2 (carbon dioxide) as the blowing
agent. I haven't heard any recent concerns over off gassing of this
greenhouse gas emission. Interested folks may want to go to the
Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) website to see what are the
latest enviro concerns.

Ann Schneider
Mtn. View CA
and former IWM Certificate Instructor & Coordinator
UC Santa Cruz and San Jose State Univ.
and nag for correct terminology




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