What’s the difference? Styrofoam, polystyrene and Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

Polystyrene is a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products. This hard, solid plastic is often used in products that require clarity, such as food packaging (hard plastic drink cups) and laboratory ware. When combined with various colorants, additives or other plastics, polystyrene is used to make appliances, electronics, automobile parts, toys, gardening pots and equipment and more.

Polystyrene also is made into a foam material, called expanded polystyrene (EPS) or extruded polystyrene (XPS). DuPont’s trademarked name for their EPS product is Styrofoam, the name most people commonly use.

EPS, Styrofoam and polystyrene food containers are often labeled #6. They are recyclable, but most manufacturers won’t recycle them because they’re contaminated with food.

While polystyrene, Styrofoam and EPS are versatile and useful in many applications, they are also petrochemical products that are poisonous at every stage of their life cycle. For our health and for clean air and water, it’s time to choose healthier alternatives. Read more in the links above.

Source: ChemicalSafetyFacts.org.