Polystyrene can be recycled!

A new polystyrene recycling project in Lasalle.

Tell me, you wouldn’t happen to have seen a number six in your recycling bin, by any chance? What do I mean? Well, you know, the six! The plastic that has a number 6 stamped under it. We can now bring it to the Écocentre LaSalle—they’ll be collecting it during 2013–2014. Why don’t I just drop it directly in the recycling bin? Ah, that’s because not all municipalities recycle it. Yes, I know it’d be simpler to just put everything in the bin. The issue is with transport. Polystyrene is so light that transporting it costs more than its own worth. But that’s a problem the plastics industry wants to solve, and to do this, the polystyrene recycling pilot project is essential.

Although finding markets to recycle polystyrene is a bit difficult right now, the polymer still has many advantages, including its versatility, which means you’ll find it in several products and forms. For example, it can be shaped into individual yogurt cups, mushroom trays, disposable utensils or CD cases. It can also be expanded to make foam trays used to package meat or even make protective packaging for electrical appliances (that’s the kind of packaging that leaves little white bits all over your living room when you take your new TV out of its box!).

You’ll find a more comprehensive list of products made from polystyrene below, but don’t forget to look under the packaging you come across for the number 6! Clean those items, gather them up and bring them to the écocentre!

List of polystyrene products

Cascades is proud to partner with the city of Montréal and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association to implement this project.

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About the Author
Isabelle Lemaire

Passionate for the environment and on a constant quest for social justice, Isabelle Lemaire is a woman whose past experience has been nothing short of eclectic. Currently a Business Development and Recycling Advisor with Specialty Products Group, this globetrotter worked all over the world before joining Cascades. Isabelle began her career in the independent film sector in Montreal before travelling to Rwanda to work in HIV prevention, and then settling in London for a communications position in the field of climate change. After completing a Master's degree in environmental studies and sustainable development, which took her to the slums of Bombay for a first-hand look at their toilets, she inadvertently became a documentary filmmaker and visual anthropologist. Isabelle is now firmly established in Montreal, and is actively involved in her community, working to preserve green spaces and implement urban agriculture. An avid cyclist, if she's not talking bicycles, she may be discussing waste, a conversation that could last for hours. For Isabelle, recycling is second nature!

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  1. Nicole @ Verta Pak at 1:13 pm

    Hey Isabelle, also polystyrene can be recycled as its become very demanded today in USA & Uk. Its requirement today to recycle because many industries has this materials in bulk. nice 🙂

    • Isabelle Lemaire
      Isabelle Lemaire at 2:54 pm

      Hello Nicole,
      You’re so right. We’re looking forward to expanding the recycling possibilities for polystyrene. Thanks for your comment!