What Do You Need to Know About Styrofoam Sheets?
There are myriads of ways in which a styrofoam sheet can be used. You must have consumed these sheets one way or the other. From packing stuff to the building industry, they are utilized everywhere.
But is using styrofoam on such a large scale good for our environment? If it is a hazard, then what alternates you can use?
Keep on reading to find an answer to these questions and everything else you need to know about styrofoam sheets.
Are there any hazards of Styrofoam
Styrofoam mainly comprises styrene, which is a product based on petroleum. Through certain processes, styrene is converted into polystyterene. Polystyrene foam is a threat to humans, animals and the environment at the same time.
While it is being manufactured, hydrocarbons are released into the air, which acts as a major air pollutant. Adverse effects of air pollution on human health are no hidden truth.
This kind of foam gets easily washed away by rain and becomes a part of the natural water reservoirs. When it becomes a part of the environment, animals consume it. Eventually, it becomes a threat to wildlife.
According to a research-based article by the National Library of Medicine, small polystyrene particles may affect red blood cells. They also argue that humans can consume a lot of microplastics from regular drinking water alone.
What can you use instead of Styrofoam Sheets?
Nowadays, there are several options that you can opt for instead of using styrofoam. Here are some of them:
PLA is an acronym for polylactic acid, made from corn starch. Although it is not microwaveable, it can withstand temperatures from 32-185 degrees Fahrenheit. It uses a plant-based resin to prevent it from absorbing the liquid inside it. Its only disadvantage is the bad heat transfer.
This kind of paper can be used for hot and cold drinks. It is made of paper board or recycled materials.
Unlike other sustainable items that are made of paper, aluminum is a metal. It is a thin metal that can be recycled after being washed. Also, it can manage grease and oil very well.
Following are some measures that you can do on an individual level to avoid the use of styrofoam:
- Carry your reusable and washable bag with you. Whether you buy groceries or other household stuff, this bag should always be with you. Ask the shopkeeper to not give you anything in a packaged form.
- Meat and vegetables often come in styrofoam packaging. While buying these, ask for no packaging and use your own bag. You can also use plastic bags for most items. Plastic is still better than using styrofoam.
- Another daily life use of styrofoam is packaged leftovers from restaurants. If you often have leftovers at restaurants, then carry your container for it.
- If you are planning to stop by for a hot cup of coffee, carry a mug from your home.
Replacing and avoiding styrofoam sheets at a personal level can play a role in reducing the consumption of styrofoam at a higher level. You just need to recognize your responsibility and take action!
But if you really need styrofoam sheets, buy from a reputed seller.