Styrofoam is known in Germany as Airpop®. It is very popular because of its numerous advantages: The material consists of 98 percent air and thus is very light. Due to its shock resistance it is suitable as a packaging material or for bicycle helmets. Its insulating properties also make it an important material for facade insulation. But where is it to be disposed of when it has become waste?
Packaging made of Styrofoam you find in your household, you can dispose of in the yellow sacks, the yellow bins or the recycling center. For example: Styrofoam your PC or TV screen has been packed in, balls or snippets made of Styrofoam for packaging purpose, fruit bowls from the supermarket.
Styrofoam is often used for insulating buildings. Insulating material has to be prepared with protection agents to be flame resistant. Therefor and because only packaging belongs into the yellow bins, insulating material made of Styrofoam has to be disposed of in the residual waste.
Ask your local authorities or waste management company for more information. Please remember: Garbage workers are not allowed to empty yellow bins or collect yellow bags which contain insulating material.
In the yellow bins and the yellow bags only lightweight packaging is collected, i.e. packaging made of metals like aluminum and tinplate, composites like drink cartons and, of course, plastic packaging. Clean waste sorting is crucial for recycling. That’s why some kinds of waste are not allowed in the yellow bins. Broken bicycle helmets or insulated cups for example go to the residual waste.
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