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Students collect polystyrene to be recycled at Eco Carbon Foam Inc.

Teacher Sylvia Dziurda says she's proud of the impressive amount brought in by students.
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The Environment Club at Pope John Paul II poses with the Polystyrene collected during their drive.

THUNDER BAY - Students in Pope John Paul II’s Environment Club were proud to display the fruits of their labour after their first Polystyrene drive which will now be recycled into insulation by Eco Carbon Foam Inc., a local company that recently received certification for its recycled insulation products.

“We started collecting it just last month and every morning we’re set up in the foyer and people have just come in and started donating. We will be donating it to Eco Carbon Foam so they can use it for insulation for different buildings around Thunder Bay,” said Emily Kivi, student.

Eco Carbon Foam Inc. was founded in early 2021 and produces type 4 insulation rigid foam boards working out of leased space in the former Buchanan Northern Hardwoods plant in Rosslyn the first company in Canada to work entirely with recycled polystyrene to make these products and currently relies mostly on imported recycled polystyrene beads from the United States and China.

With more students taking an interest in the environment as well as the community support shown throughout the drive, Sylvia Dziurda, a teacher at Pope John Paull II who leads the Environment club, hopes to see a city polystyrene recycling program.

“I really hope the city can support that. And I do see a day where we will have a lot more places for things like Styrofoam plastics to be recycled. And I think it’s got to start small. It has to start somewhere. And then we’ll see that ripple effect,” said Dziurda.

“We’re seeing it worldwide, we’re seeing the ban of plastic bags, and we see it at the grocery stores and in most places we visit so I’m glad that we’re starting to act on it here in our own school and hopefully we’ll see it more and more as we go.”

Together the students collected hundreds of pieces of Styrofoam which equates to about half a line’s worth for the production line at Eco Carbon Foam Inc. which is an impressive feat for a group of seven students.

“It feels really amazing, just the things that we we’ve saved and how this may make a big difference to some people. But it just feels really nice that we can make this difference and all the things that we’re saving from going in the landfill, things that will help towards our planet,” said Sam Skillin, student.

“I was really impressed with the amount of Styrofoam that we actually got and are still collecting, I did not think that we’d get this much but I was surprised and I’m happy.”

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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