trashing styrofoam: not even once

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Trashing Styrofoam: Not even once. Ben Aldrich & Greg Kohler Environmental Science April 2011

Author: greg-kohler

Post on 30-Jun-2015



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dangers of Styrofoam and awareness for it


Page 1: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

Trashing Styrofoam:Not even once.

Ben Aldrich & Greg KohlerEnvironmental Science

April 2011

Page 2: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once


1839. Eduard Simon, a German Apothecary isolated the substance from natural resin.

Wasn’t until Hermann Staudinger, a German organic chemist, discovered it was a plastic polymer.

1930. Scientists at BASF (Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabrik) developed a way to commercially manufacture polystyrene.

1937. Dow Chemical company introduces polystyrene products to the United States.


Page 3: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

History Continued.

Ray McIntire, Dow Scientist was the first to create a foamed polystyrene known as Styrofoam.

1954. Dow Chemical Company introduced Styrofoam products to the United States.


Page 4: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

How it’s made.

Small spherical beads that contain an expanding agent are heated with steam, as the expanding agent boils, the beads soften and expand up to forty times their original size.

Expanded beads are left to cool down before being heated again. However, this time the beads are expanded within a mold.

The molds are designed in a variety of shapes depending on the desired end product.


Page 5: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

Common Uses


Wig stands

Egg cartons


Packing Peanuts


Page 6: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once


Styrofoam takes 2,000 years to decompose.

Styrofoam products make up 0.25% of our nations average 547,945 tons of garbage per day

When Styrofoam does start to breakdown, it is slowly releasing toxins into the soil beneath it.

Resists water moisture which is why it’s so hard to breakdown.


Page 7: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once


Burning Styrofoam releases over 90 different hazardous chemicals into the air.

The vapors, though controllable, are often not controlled and released into the air outside of the incineration plant.


(Not Even Once)


Page 8: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once


4 commercial recycling plants in Michigan.

Dart Container Corporation: 432 Hogsback Road, Mason MI is the nearest.

May be smaller recycling plants nearby which collect Styrofoam and will bring it all to a larger one.

What happens at the plant:


Page 9: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once


Foam insulation can be ground up and made into bean-bag chairs as well as used as packaging filler.

Though the cups are flimsy and can really only be drank out of once, they can be rinsed out and used for elementary science activates such as planting seedlings among other things.


Page 11: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

Reduce continued…

Buy eggs in recycled paper cartons

Use ceramic, plastic or paper cups

Sit down at restaurants instead of ordering takeout. Finish all your food (order less) so you don’t have to take any home.

Use Acetone: Link to compact it into smaller amounts


Page 12: Trashing Styrofoam: Not Even Once

Works Cited

Bellis, Mary. "Invention of Polystyrene and Styrofoam." Inventors. 18 Mar. 2008. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. <>.

Oprah. "Global Warming 101 -" Oprah Winfrey's Official Website - Live Your Best Life - 27 Oct. 2005. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. <>.

Spangler, Steve. "How to Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Styrofoam | Steve Spangler's Blog." Making Science Fun | Official Blog for Steve Spangler. 24 Aug. 2010. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.

Trotts, Mel. "Styrofoam Recycling in MICHIGAN - Styrofoam Recycle." Styrofoam Recycling Services, Centers, Companies & Information. 3 Apr. 2009. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.