Waste foam, as the name implies, is an issue related to waste foams, also known as Styrofoam. Styrofoam is a brand derived from a chemical compound called polystyrene. Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. It is a lightweight material with about 95% air and very good insulating properties. Due to the amount of air in its structure, styrofoam does not sink and can keep its shape. Styrofoam does not deteriorate over time. When Styrofoam is burned at very high temperatures, it can be destroyed and only small amounts of water and carbon are produced as by-products. However, when it is burned over a normal fire instead of a special incinerator, pollutants such as soot and carbon monoxide are released.
Foam - or cut foams - are a natural byproduct of the foam manufacturing process. Production efficiency indicates that the foam converter aims to produce as many components as possible from one raw material block, minimizing the amount of foam scrap. However, almost every converted foam block produces at least a small amount of waste material.
Flexible polyurethane foams were first developed during World War II for use as aircraft trim. Production was low, however, and it wasn't until the 1950s that chemical giants like DuPont, BASF and Dow Chemicals began developing the toluene diisocyanate and polyurethane polyols needed to produce polyurethane foam on a commercial scale. Today, there is some confusion about foam, which has become available in many areas. So, what are the applications for waste foam?
Applications for waste foam
Polystyrene (also known as EPS foam or Styrofoam) is an excellent choice for food, electronics, electrical appliances, furniture, etc. due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. It is a very popular plastic packaging material, and its packaging has a wide range of applications. Polystyrene is also used to make useful items such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, boxes, crates, etc. Despite the appeal of polystyrene, municipalities and organizations face a growing problem in the disposal of polystyrene packaging and products. Polystyrene, being large and bulky, takes up a lot of space in trash cans, which means that trash cans fill up faster and therefore need to be emptied more frequently.
Polystyrene is light compared to its volume. Therefore, it takes up a lot of valuable storage space and can be thrown around and cause disturbances in the environment. Although some companies have recycling policies, most polystyrene is still dumped in landfills around the world. According to conservative estimates, hundreds of thousands of tons of polystyrene waste are produced and delivered to landfills in the Middle East every year. At this point, we can state that foam recycling is an extremely important situation. It is necessary to benefit from foam recycling services to prevent the occurrence of both a bad appearance and various problems that occur when it is left as waste in nature.
The Importance of Waste Foam
When polystyrene, that is waste foam, is broken down in the ocean, it can also be consumed by fish. Marine animals up the food chain can eat fish that consume EPS, thus concentrating the pollutant. Considering that styrene, the plastic monomer used in the production of EPS, is classified under various factors, styrene is obtained from non-renewable and rapidly consuming petroleum or natural gas and creates environmental sustainability problems for EPS. These effects that occur at this point should be minimized.