The Foam Recycling Coalition (FRC) has launched its much-anticipated grant program aimed at developing the infrastructure and resources necessary to collect, process, recycle and market foam #6 products. The FRC has a particular interest in foam foodservice products, egg cartons and protective packing foam. The idea is to support those who manage curbside foam recycling programs, drop-off recycling centers and large scale commercial foam recycling. The grants are available to both the public and private sector and go up to an estimated $50,000 per successful application.
This grant program follows the success of many local recycling campaigns in both North America and Canada. Yonkers residents, for example, managed to collect one ton of foam materials in a six-week period at the end of last year. Montreal also ran a year-long pilot foam recycling program that was so successful the city decided to extend it for an additional five years, minimum.
Foam recycling goes further than a ban on foam foodservice items and packaging products because it provides an option that takes into account egg cartons, meat trays and foam packaging that originated in other countries and was shipped here. A ban does not deal with the larger issue of unnecessary waste in landfills, and only provides a short-term, expensive solution. The coalition would provide a long-term, sustainable solution by acting as a catalyst to increase local foam recycling and end- market demand.
The grant recipient will be responsible for publicizing the addition of the new or improved foam recycling program to local residents directly and within normal marketing communications. The recipient will also be expected to inform the coalition of the volumes of polystyrene foam processed.