Cities all over the county, including New York City, have made the long debated decision to ban polystyrene foam entirely. In fact, many areas have stated that they will enforce large fines for any businesses that do not follow the ban and continue to use polystyrene products in their businesses. The proposed Arkansas foam ban joins this movement’s ranks. But, these bans don’t look at the full picture. Polystyrene is very valuable for businesses, mainly due to the fact that it is so cheap to make.
However, there has been a massive debate about the use of polystyrene products over the last few years, as the World in general has been experiencing a massive waste problem. To put it simply, trash by products from all of the coffee cups, to go bags, and all other sorts of things that polystyrene is used in have been accumulating at rapid rates, because they have not been recycled.
Increase in Recycling Awareness
This is all starting to change, as there has been a drastic increase in awareness when it comes to the recycling of polystyrene products and if businesses and the people in various cities worked to continue to recycle, it would be greatly beneficial for everyone. When you consider the fact that a ton of businesses use this type of material every single day, especially food retailers, and you compare the price of polystyrene products to the costs of other materials that they would have to buy instead, it is blatantly clear that they will lose a lot of money.
Economic times are very hard right now and the banning of polystyrene products are going to be a drastic increase in the costs of businesses everywhere. Because of this, coupled with the availability of locations to recycle polystyrene products that have started to emerge, it does not make sense to enforce a ban. The much better course of action would be to develop a plan to recycle these types of products on a large scale, much like what has been done with plastic bottles and plastic cans.
Advancements in Arkansas
There have been major efforts in the state of Arkansas over the last few years to develop efficient means of recycling polystyrene products and they have been making a lot of progress. The fact that polystyrene is expanded when products are made and consists of ninety five percent air, has led scientists in the state to attempt to shrink the foam back down.
One test saw thirty five cubic yards of polystyrene reduced to a fifty five gallon drum, which is very promising when it comes to the ability to recycle Dart products, but the most important thing is to continue on the path towards recycling on a large scale, rather than just banning the material.