Styrofoam S

A young inventor’s plan to recycle styrofoam

Styrofoam LFrom packing fruit, fish and meat to disposable coffee cups, and a myriad of other applications, each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam — none of which can be recycled. An American youngster has come up with an award-winning possible solution. Watch his TED talk here….

Frustrated by this waste of resources and landfill space, Ashton Cofer and his science fair teammates developed a heating treatment to break down used Styrofoam into something useful, ie into activated carbon for purifying water.

Check out their original design, which won both the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award and the Scientific American Innovator Award from Google Science Fair.

Additional information:

Information regarding recycling of polystyrene, its recovery and usage by polystyrene manufacturers in South Africa can be obtained from the Polystyrene Council.

Contact them for more information, or visit