Food and Beverage Containers
Styrofoam, the Dow Chemical brand name for Polystyrene (EPS), is perhaps most widely known for its use as coffee cups, disposable plates and take-out containers.The reasons for its popularity is that it has excellent insulating properties that keep hot products hot and cold products cold much longer than disposable paper cups and boxes.
Here is a list of the different uses for polystyrene (EPS) products related to our food.
• Utensils (un-blown polystyrene).
• Take-out boxes.
• Egg cartons.
• Clear plastic cups and boxes (un-blown polystyrene).
Using pre-molded EPS or “peanuts” for packing delicate objects is probably the other most commonly known of use for this material.
For a long time, EPS foam was the best packing material being light-weight and protective at the same time. However, in the past decade large, inflated air sacs have gained popularity as an even cheaper and effective packing material because it uses air and very few resources to create.
Most EPS packaging is either the little popcorn-like pieces referred to as “peanuts” or the large molded piece to fit a specific product. If you ever come across packaging that looks like cut-up odd pieces of EPS, it is re-used molded pieces that have been shredded down.
This type of EPS use is probably the highest consumer of EPS altogether. I say “probably” because there are so many different kinds of EPS insulation and applications that they are too numerous to list, plus it is difficult to find reference resources that list the annual amount used of any of the types of EPS insulation.
Craft Project Materials
There is actually quite a large market for EPS in the craft market. Some such uses are various sized donut-like EPS pieces that people use as a base for all kinds of wreaths. There are many different shaped EPS pieces for all sorts of projects, from arranging flowers to making architectural models. As with many craft materials, all you have to use is your imagination to figure out another use for this easily-molded substance.