The True State of Plastics Foam Recycling in America

For the past couple of decades, many companies have selected recyclable foam plastics as a way to improve their environmental scorecard.  They fall into the trap of believing that these materials – predominantly polystyrene and polyethylene foams – WILL be recycled because they CAN be recycled.  Perhaps they should read what New York City offers on their website:

“Foam plastic is very difficult to recycle unless kept very clean and separate from all other types of plastic. For this reason, New York City and most other cities' plastics recycling programs do not collect it with commingled recycling. Because of the difficulty of recycling expanded polystyrene, there are relatively few plants in the U.S. that will take it. This means that the material must be shipped to distant factories. The transport and processing is expensive, unsustainable, and not environmentally friendly.” 


Suppliers of recyclable foam materials go to great lengths to offer them as “green” and “sustainable”.  This value-proposition completely falls on its face when the materials are not recycled – and most of the time they are NOT because there are rarely recycling infrastructures available in most communities. 

Green Cell Foam material, on the other hand, is a bio-based and biodegradable material that has many easy and efficient ways to revert back to the earth without the need for recycling.  Used as a thermal insulating replacement for polystyrene foam or as an shock absorbing replacement for polyethylene foam, Green Cell Foam can be disposed of by:

  • composting in a backyard or industrial composting facility
  • dissolving down the drain or placing in a bucket of water and pouring on your plants or lawn when dissolved
  • starting your charcoal grill or campfire instead of paper

How’s that for easy and efficient?

So when you’re ready to select a “green” material that performs really well, choose the material with green in its name: Green Cell Foam.  Call our friendly and knowledgeable team to discuss your needs.  Your customers and your planet will thank you!

-Tim Colonnese - President and CEO at KTM Industries