Not many of us are aware that Styrofoam is made of only 5% polystyrene and the rest is air thus making it highly popular in the insulation and craft industries. Styrofoam, although when discovered received great appreciation and niche usage especially for its insulation and buoyancy properties, very soon met its fate when environmentalists questioned its hazards on health and environment.
Styrofoam, which is basically a petroleum based product which when assorted with Benzene, a carcinogenic chemical can spell disaster if not used discerningly. Due to its lethal and non biodegradable properties, Styrofoam when recycled finds usage in areas which directly do not come in contact with food. Styrofoam is recycled using large shredding machines, whereby Styrofoam is fed into shredding machines using conveyor belts. The shredded foam is then transferred to extruders where they are molded into sheets using heat and pressure. Then it is transported to various industries.
The most common Styrofoam we come across in our routine lives is the form of the packing foam which insulates our electronic or delicate materials viz. television, computer, refrigerator, or glass items. This Styrofoam can be used innovatively since we cannot afford to throw it away in our waste bins because it is non biodegradable and can clog drains.
1. Vertical garden from recycled Styrofoam
An elegant use of recycling Styrofoam could be by florists, wherein the Styrofoam is put at the base to hold that riveting bouquet which brings a smile on our faces. Not only that coming back to our homes, its very interesting use can be making vertical garden ourselves and bringing the exhilarating greenery into our drawing rooms. A simple DIY technique and voila our vertical garden is ready. The Styrofoam is cut into desired shape and coated with waterproof material, subsequently painted in desired colors and fitted with plants, which can be watered due to water retention/easy drainage properties of Styrofoam.
2. Styrofoam F1 racecar
Michael Salter, the iconic man behind modeling various interesting items by recycling harmful products, has come up with yet another piece of art, an F1 race car, which has generated rave reviews. The full scale recycled Styrofoam race car is an exact replica of the actual car and it is affordable.
3. Styrofoam Sofa
Designer Kwangho Lee thought of yet another innovative idea to reuse Stryfoam as a piece of furniture. Styrofoam, due to its insulation properties can be cut and shaped into a sofa, not only it has an aesthetic appeal but it is also environment friendly.
4. Book Cover made from Recycled Strofoam
Alin Tocmacov, while accidentally disposing this Mac packaging Styrofoam, creatively molded it to make his portfolio cover, which not only looked exquisite but also symbolized the concept of making âbest out of wasteâ in an eco friendly way.
5. Pink Styrofoam Hummer
New York artist, Aaron Hauck, in his quest to spread eco awareness, created a pink hummer to accentuate how we could utilize recycled products and turn them into artistic pieces of work and thus take the onus on ourselves to save mother earth from further deterioration. This piece of work was highly acclaimed when displayed in an exhibition to create awareness.
6. Giant Styrobot
Yet another piece of art by the revered designer, Michael Salter a giant Styrofoam robot which stands 21 feet! Although it took several men and ladders to make the robot actually stand on its feet it made the point again of picking up things we call waste and turning them into creative works of art.
7. Styrofoam Chandelier
Turning the waste Styrofoam packaging material which came with his Apple MacBook into a stunning chandelier was the creative idea of Eric Lawrence, which won him many accolades. The Styrofoam was shaped to look like a chandelier and fitted with CFLs and subsequently hung by him in this living room. Amazing how human mind can work wonders!
8. Styrofoam-made seahorse
Philip Custer, a high school participant in the Rethink Recycling sculpture contest won himself the most coveted prize for metamorphosing ropes, wires, plastic bottles, and Styrofoam into seahorse and squids. This competition is organized to spread awareness and catching the fancies of the young minds.
9. Recycling Styrofoam
An interesting and fun filled use could be to mold Styrofoam into boats which could be an eco friendly and adventurous mode of transportation.
10. Cloud & Clover Shiner International lights
Shiner International, a pioneer in using recycled material and turning them into pleasing and graceful household furniture conceptualized and manufactured pendant Klee and Cloud light fittings, which come in various sizes and are equally alluring when installed in living rooms or offices exemplifying how even non bio degradable waste can be converted into appealing products of everyday use.
Styrofoam can be used in many ways depending on our imagination so that it is not disposed in the open to further cause man made disasters. If we are more attentive and responsible toward use of materials we produce for our convenience and comfort, more astutely and effectively, we can turn our follies into aesthetics.