Foam polystyrene cups and other foodservice products are very easy to recycle and are currently being recycled in Canada!
Single-use foam polystyrene foodservice products are not only recyclable, they are the most recycled of all single-use foodservice materials today —paper or plastic— and are currently recycled in select locations in Canada. The City of Toronto added foam cups and food containers to the City's Blue Box program in December 2008, and in fact, in Ontario approximately 90 municipalities, representing over 50 percent of all households in the province, have access to blue box programs (both curbside and depot collection) that collect post-consumer foam cups and containers. All those foam coffee cups, fast food containers, yogurt cups, bakery plates and lids, crystal drink containers, meat trays, —all household polystyrene— and white cushion packaging material no longer have to end up in landfills. They are completely recyclable!
Polystyrene Foodservice Products
Products made from Recycled Polystrene
The Stewardship Ontario website www.blueboxmore.ca also provide information on the materials collected in curbside blue box for Ontario municipalities.
Foam polystyrene cups and other foodservice products are very easy to recycle and are being recycled in Canada!
Recyclable single-use foam polystyrene foodservice products are the most recycled of all single-use foodservice materials today — paper or plastic — and are currently recycled in a growing number of locations in Canada through curbside and depot programs. Municipalities such as Montreal Quebec, Kings & Annapolis County Nova Scotia recently added foodservice foam to their recycling programs. Expansion of foam collection in British Columbia has given that province the highest Canadian access rate of 78% followed by Ontario at 56%. All those foam coffee cups, fast food containers, yogurt cups, bakery plates and lids, crystal drink containers, meat trays, — all household polystyrene — and white cushion packaging material no longer end up in landfills and is now re-manufactured into commercially successful products – including decorative mouldings and high-end picture frames.
Municipal Recycling Canada
To learn more about recycling in your community, it is recommended that you visit your municipalities website or contact your local Public Works/Environmental department (i.e., whichever local government department handles recycling) directly. This is the best way to find out which specific materials are currently accepted for recycling in your city or town.
For more information about polystyrene foam foodservice products recycling access across Canada, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association has published the following report: Access to Residential Recycling of Packaging and Packaging Materials in Canada
Commercial Recycling Canada
Regarding commercial recycling (from business and institutions) versus residential recycling, this is usually done directly by private firms rather than through the local municipality. You may be able to get a list of local private recyclers from your local government department that handles recycling.
Dart Recycling Programs
Recycled foam food service products can be reprocessed into building insulation, plastic lumber, and many other products. Dart is capable of reprocessing 12 million pounds of foam products annually and encourages the recycling of foam cups and foam foodservice products by offering the following options:
Drop Off Locations for the General Public
Since the early 1990's, Dart has operated several polystyrene foam drop-off locations at our North American production plants for anyone who wishes to recycle foam products. In addition we have recycling centers at our production facilities in Campbellford, Ontario in Canada and Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida in the United States. LEARN MORE
Dart also has two “portable” recycling programs: CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) and Recycla-Pak.
CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) for Large Operators
To make recycling polystyrene foam food service products easier for our customers, Dart offers the CARE (Cups Are REcyclable) program. The CARE Program helps large operators using all types of foam food service products (not just cups) cost-effectively separate the foam from other products, consolidate the collected material, and arrange to have it recycled. LEARN MORE
Foam vs. Paper Environmental Facts and Information
Polystyrene Quick Facts (PDF)
Solid Waste and Landfill Issues
Although greater amounts of municipal solid waste (MSW) have been recycled and composted in the last forty years, the majority of MSW generated in the United States is safely disposed of in landfills. Today’s modern MSW landfills are well-engineered facilities that are regulated under strict federal and state regulations to ensure protection of human health and the environment. LEARN MORE
2006 Life Cycle Inventory Study
A 2006 peer-reviewed study from Franklin Associates Ltd. provides an extensive and comparative look at the energy and environmental performance of foodservice packaging products made with polystyrene foam, bleached paperboard or corrugated paperboard, including hot and cold beverage cups and sandwich "clamshells." Known as a life cycle inventory, or simply LCI, the study offers a cradle-to-grave picture of a product's environmental attributes, from raw material extraction and manufacturing to post-use recovery or disposal. The 2006 Foodservice Packaging LCI evaluated products across the full range of resource and energy use, solid waste generation, atmospheric emissions and waterborne emissions. Comparisons between systems were summarized for four key performance areas: energy, solid waste (weight), solid waste (volume), and greenhouse gas emissions. LEARN MORE
Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA)
The Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) is the voice of the Canadian Plastics Industry. With over 2,422 companies employing 76,530 workers, Canada’s $17.6 billion plastics industry is a sophisticated, multi-faceted sector encompassing plastic products manufacturing, machinery, molds, and resins. LEARN MORE. Dart is an active member of CPIA.