Think styrofoam can be recycled? Well, guess what…..

So many of us are trying our best to be conscientious and recycle everything possible.
In doing so we are often putting things in the recycling bins for our cities and towns that really shouldn’t go there.
One of these items is Styrofoam.
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“But they have the recycling logo on the bottom” you say. It’s so confusing!
My town sends out an annual list of what they take and what they don’t. I wonder how many people actually take a look at this or simply trash this info (or recycle it for those conscientious consumers)? Stryofoam ain’t on that list.

So, what to do about this toxic product? Well, the first thing is to look at how you can avoid it.several tiffins_306325757 copy

If you’re at a restaurant and you have leftovers to take home, bring a reusable container with you.
Stainless steel tiffins are easy to find now – they’re at health food stores, container stores, online. Bring it with you and put your leftovers in that.

Styrofoam is often put in the packaging for meats and poultry. This is where I end up with some styrofoam. I generally get my meats and poultry from a few local farmers, they don’t put the styrofoam in their packaging but I am left with some unavoidable plastic bags to deal with (working on that one!).

Every so often I pick up some organic, pasture-raised chicken or meat at Whole Foods or Mom’s Organic Market (which is a wonderful organic food market chain in my area) and this is where I will find I’ll get those little styrofoam trays.
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We are in luck in my neck of the woods, which is outside Philly. Mom’s will recycle styrofoam as long as it has the logo it. And, to my surprise, they will take the ones from meat and poultry.

You don’t want to have that stuff hanging around stinking till you get to the market so here’s a tip on how to deal with it: Once you remove the meat/poultry from the packaging, put the styrofoam containers into warm water with soap and let them soak for a few minutes. I also add a bit of natural disinfectant like a little white vinegar to the water. Clean ’em off and then let them air dry.
So the goal is first – as much as possible, avoid it. But if you find you have some styrofoam, do a bit of research to see if and where you can recycle it in your area.

I’d love to hear from others on how they’ve tackled this problem.
And I’m thinking of talking to the people at Mom’s to see if some sort of initiative can be started to get companies that are selling organic, pasture raised poultry and meat to stop putting styrofoam in their packaging. Doesn’t make sense, now does it? Healthy meats hanging out on toxic styrofoam. What’s wrong with this picture?

 

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