An organization based out of Tampa, Florida, has recently upped-the-ante in regards to its foam recycling efforts, and is making a big statement by doing so. Even though 3G1V, short for Three Guys, One Vision, is located just a four-hour drive from Miami Beach, where polystyrene foam products were banned by local commissioners in July 2014, the company has implemented a foam recycling program of its own and is making a profit out of its efforts. 3G1V is committed to removing single-use polystyrene foam products – which are often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam®, a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company – from local waste streams and landfills.
The individuals behind 3G1V handle polystyrene foam by collecting it from various sources, cleaning it and recycling it so that other organizations can purchase the material for use in the production of new consumer goods. Manufacturers often use polystyrene foam when producing items such as picture frames and architectural crown molding, and because recycled foam costs less than the same product in brand new form, there is a true demand for it.
According to Bryan Anderson, one of the founders of 3G1V, the organization currently ships out about 200,000 pounds of recycled polystyrene foam per month, but hopes to increase this amount by tapping into local school systems using foam trays during their lunch hour. The demand for recycled polystyrene foam has also allowed Anderson and his team to develop job growth in the Tampa area, noting that just six months ago their team was running one shift, but now runs three shifts to keep up with demand.
While 3G1V is currently shipping its recycled foam to China for production needs, the American Chemistry Council recently stated that more than 140 companies within the U.S. and Canada also utilize the material. Because of this, and the fact that more organizations and communities are implementing foam recycling programs, many wonder what good truly comes out of banning polystyrene foam products. Giving individuals and entities the opportunity to collect and recycle discarded polystyrene foam products can spur economic growth and help create new jobs, all while diverting single-use waste away from local landfills.