Skip to main content


person holding polystyrene cup
1min read

Is Polystyrene Recyclable?

by Toni Olukiran

1min read

As we’re all making more of a concerted effort to properly recycle all the materials we use, you may be wondering if polystyrene is recyclable in the UK. Read on for what you need to know. 

What is polystyrene?

Polystyrene, also known as styrofoam, is a synthetic material made from plastic and is one of the most widely used and common plastics in the world. It is used for CD cases, food packaging due to its insulating properties, and as packaging for protecting larger goods. It is a cheap material, hence why so much of it is produced.

Is polystyrene recyclable?

Unfortunately, polystyrene is not suitable for curbside pickup here in the UK, so it cannot be recycled with the rest of your jars or boxes. This is because it is bulky, which makes it hard and expensive to use machinery that will compact it. It is also very lightweight, so it can be very easily blown away with a bit of typical English weather which would complicate collections. 

Is polystyrene sustainable?

Polystyrene is not biodegradable and it more often than not goes into the waste bin, so realistically, it’s not very environmentally friendly. Although the production side is not terribly unsustainable since there is little to no waste created, the fact it does not get recycled much and ends up in landfills means that as far as materials go, it can’t really be considered sustainable.

Want to know more recycling information? Read our guide on what and how to recycle next. 


Toni Olukiran
by Toni Olukiran

Toni is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants, and when she’s not writing posts about everything from Jamaican cooking to vegan champagne, she’s making a Spotify playlist (she was at 200, at her last count) or playing tennis in the park.

Read more from Toni


Let us take care of dinner

We help to make eating more plants easy and delicious. Fancy letting us take care of dinner? Check out our delicious meals here.
People and Planet
VisaMasterCardAmerican expressApple PayGoogle PayMicrosoft wallet

© Copyright 2021 Allplants Ltd.
All rights reserved

Welcome to allplants. We use cookies (plant-based, of course!). By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.