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What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean? (Part 1)

  
  
  
  
  
recycling symbol #6

Number 6 Plastics

Plastics Recycling Conference 2010

  
  
  
  
  

I want to let everyone know that we are exhibiting again this year at the Plastics Recycling Conference 2010 which will be held in Austin TX.  The conference will take place on March 2nd and 3rd.  The conference will include a tradeshow.  We will have booth #304 and would love to have you stop in.  The conference sponsors expect a great turnout again this year.  There were a record number of exhibitors this year and all spaces have sold out.  This primary focus of this conference is recycling, not solid waste management.  This is one of the best conferences in North America to meet people interested in recycling plastics of all types.  

What Is Styrofoam?

  
  
  
  
  
styrofoam on houseMany of us use the term Styrofoam as a reference to most plastic foam packaging.  We include foam drinking cups, packaging peanuts and the white material that our appliances, toys and so many other items are packaged in.  In fact, most of this is not Styrofoam.  Styrofoam is a registered trademark of Dow Chemical for an extruded polystyrene foam material sometimes referred to as XPS.  This material is always made in a sheet form and is generally the color blue.  The primary use for Styrofoam is for building insulation although you may find it used in Geofoam applications or in block form in the hobby store.  As Dow states on their website, "You can't drink coffee from a STYROFOAM cup. (There's no such thing.)"

The typical foam coffee cup and the most common white colored packaging foam is expandable polystyrene foam or EPS for short.  This material is related to Styrofoam in chemical makeup but it is produced and formed in a different process.  It is generally recycled separately from DOW Styrofoam or other XPS material.   EPS can usually be identified by looking for the circular pattern on the surface created by the individual beads that are used to make the molded shape.

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