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This 'Nanowood' Is The Biodegradable Alternative To Styrofoam We Need

By Brian Spaen

Styrofoam is incredibly cheap and provides many uses like holding hot drinks and packing larger electronics for shipment. However, the convenience is costly when it comes to the environment, and it’s an incredible nightmare when it comes to recycling it. A new option called “nanowood” hopes to provide benefits similar to styrofoam, with the plus of being biodegradable.

For the most part, local recycling bins do not accept foamed polystyrene, or Styrofoam. Some variations of it can be accepted or there will be specific bins, but usually all food containers and cups are not accepted due to contamination. In the recycling process, accidentally burning polystyrene gives of styrene gas, which is a toxic chemical.

While it can be convenient for food storage and keeping liquid hot or cold, there’s been links that direct contact with what we consume could be hazardous. It’s certainly dangerous for the environment, where it never breaks down and animal wildlife can suffer if they accidentally try to ingest the material.