Polystyrene Myths

There are misconceptions in the market about polystyrene.

Myth: Polystyrene is not recyclable.
Fact: Polystyrene is recyclable! Polystyrene is recycled into many valuable new products, such as picture frames, coat hangers, seedling trays, cornices and moldings, baseboards, office supplies and fire-retardant materials. There is a growing market for recycled polystyrene. And with the addition of PolyRenew®, polystyrene is now being recycled in food service applications as well. To learn more about polystyrene recycling visit our latest updates on Regenyx LLC plus the EPS Industry Alliance website ( and Plastics Foodservice Facts website (

Myth: Polystyrene is taking up large amounts of landfill space.
Fact: Polystyrene foodservice packaging currently accounts for less than 1 percent by weight and volume of land-filled materials. 

Myth: CFCs are used in the production of foam polystyrene.
Fact: No CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) are used in the manufacturing of foam polystyrene.

Myth: Polystyrene is not a good food-packaging container, as chemicals can leach out.
Fact: Polystyrene meets stringent U.S. FDA standards for use in food contact packaging and is safe for consumers. Health organizations encourage the use of single-use food service products, including polystyrene, because they provide increased food safety. In fact, Safe Food Handling Practices, particularly those associated with un-cooked meats, have become much easier to ensure with the use of polystyrene packaging which captures but does not absorb fluids like pulp trays. 

Myth: Paperboard coffee cups are better than polystyrene ones.
Fact: In most cases, polystyrene food service foam packaging has an environmental footprint that is lower than or comparable to alternative packages. For example, a polystyrene foam 16 oz. cup for hot beverages uses 50 percent less energy to produce, produces 1/3 fewer greenhouse gas emissions and produces 50 percent less solid waste by volume compared to a paperboard 16 oz. cup with a sleeve.

Plastic MythBusters site for an extensive database of plastic myths and truths.