How To Repurpose Styrofoam Cubes
Styrofoam is generally a specific variety of polystyrene. Most people use styrofoam cubes without even noticing. Owned by the Dow Chemical Company, this specific variety of polystyrene is almost exclusively used in crafting applications and as insulation. However, the term “styrofoam” is often used when referring to all polystyrene products such as packaging and drinking cups.
Depending on the variety, styrofoam can be 98 percent of air which is as a result of its dramatic expansion during polymerization – a chemical reaction in which a compound is made into a polymer by the addition or condensation of smaller molecules. Basically, it has to do with the expansion of tiny beads that fuse together to form a solid material due to a chemical reaction enhanced by heat and steam.
Importance of Styrofoam recycling
Burning styrofoam cubes is illegal. This is because it would lead to the release of toxic chemicals such as benzene – a toxic liquid from petroleum which styrofoam is manufactured from. Due to the high flammability of the material its usage as improvised wall insulation may not be safe. It requires an incredible amount of time to break down thereby making it hard to recycle.
Already, some cities in the US have completely banned the use of polystyrene for food packaging due to some contamination issues found in the material. Oceanographers and environmentalists have shown the material to be one of the main ocean pollutants, found in abundance in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. To this end, styrofoam recycling has always been a major cause of concern.
If you are seeking to know more on how and where to repurpose your styrofoam cubes, the following suggestions will be of great help to you.
Go creative with your styrofoam
Styrofoam is an excellent material for creating realistic mini-structures like trees, mountains, bridges, and buildings. So, if you are into model trains you can use this material to add more pleasure to your creative experience.
Catch fish with styrofoam
If you love going out to fish, you will surely see the need for your styrofoam bricks. These materials are commonly used as parts for artificial reefs, underwater net trap lifters, markers, fishing fly holders, and floaters.
Plant with Styrofoam
It’s common to find local planters using styrofoam to sow green. Usually, they use the material for drainage and plant beds. You might want to take in polystyrene bricks to do some local plantings in your area. Basically, you can use Styrofoam as improvised plant boxes to start a bit of roof deck or backyard gardening.
Styrofoam recycling with oranges
When sprayed with limonene (an organic citrus peel extract), styrofoam tends to dissolve very rapidly to about 20 times less its original volume. The end result is a sticky and soft substance that can be used as super glue. While polystyrene is processed to produce industrial grade pellets and foams, limonene can be repeatedly used to recycle styrofoam.
Your styrofoam cubes can serve as another packaging or padding material for that stuff you are packing for shipping. So, feel free to reuse them again.
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