Plastic #6 (Polystyrene)

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Soft plastic #6, including styrofoam and plastic bags, is currently not recycleable in San Luis Obispo County and should be put in the garbage. Rigid plastic #6 can be recycled.


Packaging Materials Are Not Recyclable

Packing peanuts and bubble wrap are plastic #6, so they are generally not recyclable. Yet there are many alternatives for recycle packaging material. Find out how to dispose of packing peanuts or bubble wrap.


Takeout Containers Are Not Recyclable

Styrofoam takeout containers are made from plastic #6, so they are generally not recyclable. Even where some styrofoam products are recycled, takeout containers are often not accepted because they are difficult to sanitize.


Pay Attention to Proper Disposal

Plastic #6 is a lightweight material that easily finds its way into the environment, where it can leach toxic chemicals.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

home for foam

Recycle With Home for Foam

Visit Home for Foam to see if there is a foam recycler in your area. These recyclers will accept many foam products, including beverage and food containers. Find out more.

styrofoam accepted by EPS

Recycle Styrofoam Packaging With EPS

Send your styrofoam peanuts and hard packaging to EPS Industry Alliance Packaging, which offers a styrofoam recycling alternative. Find a drop off location or mail in clean styrofoam packaging to the nearest collection facility.

Ways to Reuse

teddy bear

Reuse Styrofoam at Home

Use styrofoam to refill cushions or stuffed animals that have lost their loft. You can also use styrofoam to line the bottom of your potted plants—you won’t need as much soil and it will allow water to drain easily.

Did You Know?

Plankton Eating Polystyrene

In the ocean, plastic is being consumed all the way down the food chain. For the first time ever, scientists have recorded plankton eating tiny polystyrene beads. Find out more at New Scientist.

Plastic in Our Bodies

Styrene, a component of polystyrene, has been found in 100 percent of human fat tissue samples dating back to 1986. It is known to cause cancer in animals, and suspected to be both cancerous and a neurotoxin for humans. Find out more from