You order a computer from a local online store and it arrives in foam packaging or with packaging peanuts. Your morning coffee joint provides its warm beverages in foam cups and the office cafeteria serves lunch on foam trays. Although we may not recognize it at first, foam touches our daily lives in more ways than one.

The wonderful aspects of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam (a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company), are plentiful. From providing superior insulation to high health safety standards, EPS foam is a material that is not only frequently used in the food and packaging industries but also in the healthcare and construction industries.

When its initial purpose is completed, it can easily be recycled into a different product that is just as useful as the old one. Used EPS foam can be recycled into pens, picture frames, planters, building insulation and more.

Unfortunately, there are a number of cities interested in banning this useful material. New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago are just a few of the cities that are discussing banning the use of foam. Most recently, talk of a potential foam ban in Boston has gained media attention. However, there are many cities throughout the United States that are successfully recycling EPS foam rather than removing it completely.

In fact, there are over 65 cities across the United States that are recycling EPS foam. In the tradition of recycling and repurposing, these cities have created drop off centers and or implemented curb side pickups for their surrounding communities. The gathered EPS foam is then taken to a centralized location where it is compressed and shipped to manufacturers that recycle the material into new products. Instead of banning such a popular and useful material, these cities are working hard alongside communities and businesses to make a healthier environment.