Fear the Foam!

The Conservation Department here at Loggerhead has collected a record high of 11,674 pieces of foam so far during the month of November, collected during only ONE beach cleanup.

Why is there so much you ask? Styrofoam easily breaks down into small pieces, however will never fully biodegrade into the environment. The figure below describes how long different items physically break down, but most plastics will never decompose to be recycled throughout the Earth’s nutrient cycle.


Figure 1. Physical decomposition of various trash items. Although these may be broken down to be invisible to the human eye, most plastics will never return to the Earth’s nutrient cycle.

So how can we decrease the amount Styrofoam in the environment?

Reduce and Reuse!


Figure 2. Styrofoam collecting on shore at Phil Foster Park boat launch. 

  • Bring your own reusable cup instead of using a single-use Styrofoam cups.
  • Request for your food to be wrapped in aluminum foil instead of the Styrofoam takeout containers.
  • Choose recycled paper cartons instead of foam cartons for your eggs.
  • Many local packing and shipping stores will take packing peanuts to reuse them in the future.
  • Clean styrofoam can be recycled at your nearest Publix!

These are just some of the many ways you can make a positive impact in the health of our Earth.




Written by Anna Rooney. 

One Comment on “Fear the Foam!

  1. Ann,

    Can copies of the first figure be printed for the education docents? I would love to have a laminated copy to use during my school tours.

    Thank you,


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