The plastic #6 symbol identifies polystyrene. Styrofoam is an expanded form of polystyrene. It is a prevalent form of plastic that has been used for decades because of its lightweight and lower manufacturing cost.
The problem with styrofoam is that it releases toxic chemicals into food when heated up either by sunlight or another heat source. This results in contamination as harmful elements move into your food and potentially cause harm to your health. Styrofoam also pollutes the air and damages our ozone layer. Let’s take a closer look!
Dangerous Impacts of Styrofoam
Styrofoam can be dangerous and damaging for many reasons. While it has its advantages, it has several disadvantages, as well. While styrofoam has many uses in the business world, mainly in food packaging, there are many reasons why your business should move away from styrofoam use. Styrofoam is the lightest and cheapest form of plastic. This is why it is preferred by almost every food business.
Before you choose styrofoam for your business, consider these negative impacts of this popular type of plastic:
1. Impact on Human Health
When any styrofoam-made packaging is exposed to sunlight, it emits dangerous chemicals, such as the styrene chemical. These chemicals contaminate your food. When you eat it, it imposes hazardous impacts on your health. This includes difficulties with hearing, vision loss, nervous system effects, and even cancer.
While styrofoam can be very beneficial to your business, it has many disadvantages that can severely affect your customers. While you might prefer to use styrofoam from your shop, it should be limited to mildly hot products. You should also make your customers aware that they shouldn’t expose the food packages to direct sunlight. If Styrofoam is used efficiently and carefully, it shouldn’t pose any harm to customers.
2. Impact on the Environment
Styrofoam is considered to be bad for the environment. There is significant research to suggest that styrofoam immensely affects the environment and the ozone layer. Moreover, styrofoam fills up 30 percent of landfills globally, which is a serious threat to the environment. Styrofoam manufacturing also emits many toxic gases and plenty of ozone into the atmosphere that pollutes the fresh air and can cause respiratory issues in people.
3. Impact on Plants and Animals
Contaminated air can also disrupt the healthy growth of plants. During the styrofoam manufacturing process, many harmful chemicals are emitted into the atmosphere, polluting the soil. This causes trouble in the growth of plants and crops.
Styrofoam packages can also be very hazardous for animals. When people litter styrofoam products, animals can get ahold of them and choke.
Styrofoam is undoubtedly the cheapest option for food packaging around the world. It is 95% air, which makes the packaging easy and lightweight. However, it has hazardous effects on living beings and the environment.
Contact MainStreet Fibers for Your Recycling Needs
If you have questions regarding styrofoam or other recycling issues, contact MainStreet Fiber’s San Bernardino recycling company for help.