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I see these foam stickers and foam project kits at every Michael’s or craft stores nowadays and my daughter uses them at daycare for decorating and doing crafts. But I worry since 1) when you open a box or bag (usually plastic) of those foam stickers or kits, they STINK (makes me think offgassing going on?) and 2) foam is plastic, right? so are these foam stickers going to be around for thousands of years like other plastics?
I can’t seem to find anything online about those foam stickers or craft kits (everything points to styrofoam which I am guessing is somehow related or similar to the foam craft items?)? Anyone know more about this and can shed some light for me?
And I am guessing you can’t recycle those foam stickers or craft kits, right?
While foam stickers are fun for kids, they are harmful to the environment. These stickers do not break down. The good point is that they will last almost forever and are easy to give to kids for crafting in a classroom environment where we only have a limited amount of time to create a project for home, but are we exchanging an easy ‘fix’ yet again in allowing our kids to use foam products on a massive level? Our entire 3rd grade will be using these foam cut-outs for crafting ornaments, picture frames, etc. Simple paper die cut sticker are better option. Environment friendly and can be recycled too.
How toxic they are depends on what they are made out of and what is in the additives and colorants or paints used. Some of these stickers are made of PVC, which is a particularly toxic plastic. Others are made from EVA, which I believe may be somewhat more safe. But the problem is that we don't know what's been added to the plastic. And all of these stickers are made from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable. I would try to avoid them.
Thanks for bringing this one up. My daughter has used her share of these in her life, but in recent years I began questioning them more and more and stopped buying them (we still have lots of foam hearts floating around in our craft drawer from several Valentine's Days ago!). I've been bothered with how many of these foam kits I see at Michael's and Target as well. Makes me think we should begin petitioning and raising awareness about this. But at the moment I'm sick, so I'm going to think about it. . . .tomorrow. Forgive me!
I thought that foam was polystyrene. No?
Beth Terry said
How toxic they are depends on what they are made out of and what is in the additives and colorants or paints used. Some of these stickers are made of PVC, which is a particularly toxic plastic. Others are made from EVA, which I believe may be somewhat more safe. But the problem is that we don’t know what’s been added to the plastic. And all of these stickers are made from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable. I would try to avoid them.
When air is added to polystyrene, you get expanded polystyrene foam, the most well-known brand being Styrofoam. That’s what packing peanuts and a lot of take-out foodware is made out of. It is very lightweight and crumbles easily. But polystyrene is not only used for foam. In fact, there are clear plastic take-out food clamshells that are made from polystyrene. And the red and blue Solo cups so ubiquitous at parties are also made from polystyrene.
Polystyrene is not the only kind of plastic that can be made into foam. Other types of plastic become “foamy” when air is blown into it. Think of EPS, the foam in your athletic shoes. That is not polystyrene, but it is what some of these stickers are made from. As is PVC.
I thought that foam was polystyrene. No?
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