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Recycling styrofoam

Recycling styrofoam

Recycling has many benefits, it is not only is good for the economy, it creates jobs, saves energy and most importantly it reduces water and air pollution. However, some areas including Prince William County do not recycle Styrofoam because it is difficult and expensive to transport, and because it is so light it can easily get blown away, becoming litter.

Scientists have found a solution to some of the issues brought on with recycling Styrofoam.  Hector Ortiz, a Mexican entrepreneur designed a national machine that was able to recycle 100 kg of Styrofoam and transform it into 97 kg of micro plastics.  Ortiz’s creation was in response to Mexico’s prominent litter problem.  These statistics are great for Mexico’s environmental problem however the country lacks the technology for the development as well as space for the machines.

Styrofoam is composed of 95% air and 5% polystyrene therefore it takes up a lot of space. Essentially the machine minimizes the space by compressing and crushing squeezing out the air and is then heated to plasticize.  The resulting product is cooled and cut to obtain pellets.  Take a look at this video to learn more about the termodensification of Styrofoam and the benefits it has on our environment and our economy.

Aliya Faille