Thursday, January 5, 2012

Girl Scouts are Cutting Down on Styrofoam Waste in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the Westborough Patch reports that with the support of the Westborough Board of Health and the sponsorship of Central One Federal Credit Union, Westborough Cadette Girl Scouts, Bhargavi Ram and Kaleigh Wright, are bringing Styrofoam (Polystyrene #6) recycling to Westborough. They have been working on this project since the spring and have set a date of March 24 to hold their Reduce, Reuse, ReFoamIt! event.

The purpose of recycling Styrofoam is because it takes up a lot of space in landfills, as it is made up of 98% air. In 1986, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that the polystyrene manufacturing process is the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste. Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain. Polystyrene foam is often dumped into the environment as litter and can break into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems.

Ram and Wright are partnering with ReFoamIt!, a company out of Framingham, MA, that takes loose Styrofoam pieces and, using intense pressure, condenses or densifies the Styrofoam into blocks that are turned into pellets to be used to make new products, such as picture frames, car bumpers and plastic brackets.