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Dow Chemical Company

Year Submitted: 2003

Process: Reduction

Industry: Chemical Manufacturing

Wastes Reduced: Solid Waste

Substance: Polystyrene Cups

Location: Freeport TX

No. of employees: 6000

Contact: Carrie Brown

Phone: (409) 238-7409


To ensure the success of the polystyrene business, a team was formed in 1992 to document the positive environmental impact of polystyrene use and recycling. This project was expanded to include the Houston Dow Center, Dow La Porte, Dow International, and some of the Dow Chemical Company’s vendors and outside organizations.

P2 Application:

The project was set up to be as convenient and easy as possible for employees to participate. The technology is simple: recycle bins are put near trash-cans and people are educated to the reasons for recycling and the products that can be produced from recycled polystyrene. This allows the program to be easily transferred to other industries. Volunteers who give some of their own time to support this effort man the outside activities of this team.

Environmental Benefits:

Reduction in the amount of polystyrene foam going to landfills. It also serves as a model for employees to take these recycling concepts home and become involved in other recycling programs. To date, over 73,000 lbs. or 14.5 million polystyrene cups have been recycled. Approximately 95% of the cups purchased by Texas Operations are recycled each month.

Details of Reductions

Additional Information :

The cost of this project is the container and lid that are used to collect the cups. The combination costs approximately $40.00 a set. There have been 450 bought by Texas Operations to date. This brings the cost to $18,000. If the trash was going to an outside landfill there would be a definite saving, but in this instance it is the knowledge of doing the right thing.

Source: TCEQ

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