You see them all the time in grocery stores and convenience shops. In fact, you have probably had a few yourself, sitting on the couch or in a lunch room.
However, even though cup noodles are inexpensive as well as convenient, can you recycle them? Continue reading to find what I discovered!
Can You Recycle Cup of Noodles?
Some cup noodles are recyclable. Furthermore, many cup noodles are made out of hard to get rid of polystyrene. Therefore, it usually cannot just be thrown into your curbside recycling bins. However, there are recycling stations all over America and Canada where you can dispose of this plastic safely.
Polystyrene, also known as Styrofoam, is a form of petroleum and can take up to a million years to decompose if left to do so on its own. Therefore, you might be wondering why is it being used if it is so bad for the environment? Well, keep on reading to find out the answer!
How To Recycle Cup Noodles?
If your cup noodles are made of Styrofoam, they can go to an EPS recycling plant.
There, after grinding up the foam, they will use a unique type of compactor called a densifier that condenses the packaging.
Furthermore, because Styrofoam is more than 90% air, it can be compressed to a very small size making transporting it easier.
After, it is then sent to companies who use it to make new products.
Interestingly, some cup noodles are now packaged in paper cups.
However, if your cup noodles are in a paper cup, they can be even more difficult to recycle and that is because paper cups are usually lined with polyethylene plastic.
Although both the plastic and paper can be recycled individually, in most cases, it is too time-consuming or costly to separate them from each other to do so.
Why Are Styrofoam Cup Noodles So Bad For The Environment?
The product known as Styrofoam or expanded polystyrene (EPS) has been used for cup noodles since 1958.
This is because it is easy and inexpensive to produce and very lightweight, so it makes an easy packaging product.
However, on top of being difficult to recycle, it is also flammable and toxic, leaking toxins into the soil and groundwater if left outdoors.
Additionally, when Styrofoam cup noodles are burnt, the resulting smoke releases black carbon and carbon monoxide into the air, which is also dangerous.
Some Places Take Cup Noodles For Recycling
Although there are not as many places to take Styrofoam as other recyclables, you can find one if you use the link provided above.
However, if you cannot, the link has the address where you can send your Styrofoam to be recycled, but there are also other options.
Continue reading to learn how you can use your cup noodles around your home!
Local Stores May Want Your Cup Noodles
Check your local stores as well because some of them will take your EPS to use for packaging.
In fact, just about any shipping company would be happy to have it. For example, Publix if you have one nearby as they offer an EPS recycling service.
How To Upcycle Cup Noodles?
If you really cannot find an EPS recycling source, there are other things you can do with your cup noodles.
Here are some other uses for Cup Noodles:
- Create fun lanterns for Halloween
- Crush and use for stuffing
- Grind up and use it for topsoil in planters
- Make crafts out of it
- Pack it in your cooler to keep ice cold longer
- Put pens and pencils in it
- Use for starting seedlings
According to the statistics, we throw out more than 25 billion Styrofoam cups every year and that includes cup noodles. Therefore, it is important to try and recycle them as best as possible or upcycle them into a new item like the ones listed above.
While these food convenience options can be great, the more knowledge we have about the manufacturing process of food packaging will allow us to make informed decisions on what we choose to purchase.