Poly vs wood

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Most are made form polystyrene I think , Isn't Polystyrene a form of plastic? does anyone have a definitive answer on this one?

"Plastic" probably isn't really that useful as a meaningful description these days, in that it's definition is so broad that it covers a huge range of different materials.

Polystyrene is a thermoplastic polymer made from styrene and I don't know how environmentally friendly either can really be considered, but on the other hand PLA (commonly used with 3D printers) is also a thermoplastic polymer often made from corn starch or sugar beet pulp and compostable (as long as the composting process reaches about 60°C or something like that).

So to determine the environmental impact you really need to look at the material in question in more detail. It's not a case of "all plastics are bad", necessarily.

Just for general interest, the form of polystyrene used for hives is EPS, expanded polystyrene foam. Because of its lightness, good thermal and crush resistant properties EPS is used a lot today in building insulation, packaging and even motorcycle helmets. It is not entirely waterproof, but good enough.

Other forms (ie: not EPS) are used for many things: yogurt pots, plastic cutlery, the casings of our home appliances, laboratory 'glassware' and once upon a time - for those of us of a certain age - CD jewel cases!

All forms of polystyrene are currently difficult to recycle due to the high cost of degrading it, so it gets a bad press. Research on this continues though, for the sake of our oceans at the very least!

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