#6 Resin Identification Symbol
Developed in 1988 by SPI, a plastics industry trade association, resin identification codes (RIC) 1 through 7 indicate the materials used in plastic products. The #6 resin identification symbol identifies polystyrene (PS) or expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. Look for the #6 symbol stamped on the bottoms of foam cups and food containers, and in inconspicuous places on foam packaging materials.
Foam #6 Recycling Facts
- Foam #6 is a thermoplastic that can be recycled over and over again.
- More than 127 million pounds of foam #6 were recycled in 2014, according to the latest EPS Recycling Report from the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
- Foam #6 is approximately 95% air, which makes it extremely light weight.
- A 48-foot truckload of loose foam #6 products weighs only around 1,000 pounds. Once the foam is compacted, the same truck can hold 40,000 pounds of foam.
- Assuming a $0.20 value per pound, a truckload of densified foam is worth $8,000.
- Foam densifiers, which are used to compact foam for recycling, cost as little at $18,000. Learn more about foam recycling equipment.
- Some, but not all, packing peanuts are foam #6.
- Foam #6 cups do not have to be rinsed before recycling. However, foam food containers should be rinsed or wiped clean.
Interested in recycling your foam #6 but not quite sure how? Quickly learn the what, where, why, and how of foam recycling — from job creation to environmental benefits — with this helpful infographic. To learn more about foam #6, visit FoamFacts.