Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Americans use and discard over 2.5 billion Styrofoam cups each year. Although it is possible to recycle Styrofoam, it is very expensive and most recycling plants do not accept it. One reason for this is that it takes up a lot of room in storage given it’s bulky nature, and as much as we know, it takes up to 300 years to disintegrate on its own.

 So, where does Styrofoam end up?
90% of the Styrofoam and polystyrene we use is thrown into landfills and waterways.
Animals have been known to eat the foam and this causes them to starve by blocking their digestive tract.

Styrofoam isn't only harmful to animals, it is also to harmful to you.
Did you know, Styrene gas is emitted when burned which is known to affect the human nervous system? When these products are heated they not only leak into your food they also release toxins into the air, polluting it.

By 1986, styrene was found in 100% of all samples of human fat tissue taken as part of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Human Tissue Survey. Researchers found that Styrofoam cups lose weight when in use, meaning that styrene is oozing into the foods and drinks we consume. It then ends up stored in our fatty tissue, where it can build up to levels that can cause fatigue, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, blood abnormalities, and even carcinogenic effects.

According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Long-term exposure to small quantities of styrene is also suspected of causing:
  • low platelet counts or hemoglobin values;

  • chromosomal and lymphatic abnormalities;

  • neurotoxic effects due to accumulation of styrene in the tissues of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves, resulting in fatigue, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, and other acute or chronic health problems associated with the nervous system.

Styrofoam is bad for the environment. Some cities, such as Boston, have already banned this material, but what do we do with the existent remaining polystyrene?

For over 6 years now I've been recycling this material and turning it into green fine art and you can learn how as well. Styrofoam as a piece of art is very resistant, it is waterproof and lasts a lifetime.

Let's stop polluting, let's stop harming our health and while we get the entire country to ban polystyrene, I invite you to recycle this material and turn it into something not harmful, but beautiful.