Polystyrene (PS) is a widely used plastic material commonly found in everyday products such as foam packaging, disposable food containers and toys. It is a petroleum-based polymer that is manufactured through the polymerisation of styrene monomers. PS is characterized by its light weight, low cost, and versatility, which makes it an attractive material for many applications.
Is Polystyrene Plastic Recyclable?
Polystyrene plastic is not easily recyclable due to its low density and lack of market demand. Unlike other plastics that can be melted and reshaped, polystyrene foam products, such as foam packaging and disposable food containers, cannot be melted and must be ground into smaller particles before they can be recycled. Even then, it can only be recycled into a limited number of products, including picture frames and plastic lumber.
However, there are some cities and countries that have programmes that accept polystyrene foam products for recycling. Additionally, there are companies that specialize in recycling polystyrene foam and converting it into other products. These companies typically use a process called densification to remove air from the foam and make it easier to handle and transport. The densified material can then be melted and remoulded into other products.
PS 6 Plastic
Polystyrene plastic is assigned a number in the recycling code system, known as the resin identification code, to help identify the type of plastic. The code for polystyrene is 6. The recycling code system is a standardized method for identifying the type of plastic used in a product and helps in the sorting and recycling of plastics. However, it is important to note that not all products marked with a 6 are made from polystyrene, and not all polystyrene products will have a 6 on them.
When recycling, it is important to separate polystyrene products from other plastics and properly dispose of them in the designated recycling bin. This will help to increase the chances of the polystyrene being recycled and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
Polystyrene plastic is a versatile and low-cost material that is widely used in everyday products. While it is not easily recyclable, there are programs and companies that specialize in recycling polystyrene foam and converting it into other products. By properly disposing of polystyrene in the designated recycling bin and increasing market demand for recycled polystyrene, we can help reduce the amount of waste in landfills and increase the sustainability of this material.