Foam Cups Return to Chicago-Area McDonald’s

Customers want cups that keep their drinks colder for longer, and some Chicago-area McDonald’s restaurants are answering the call. Certain franchises are returning to polystyrene foam cups, after having switched to alternatives in 2013 that simply were not as effective.

Not only do foam cups help keep drinks colder for longer, but they also keep condensation at bay. Foam cups don’t “sweat,” or produce any condensation on the outside of the cup. They are also a preferred material for hot coffees and teas.

Consumers aren’t the only ones who prefer foam though. Restaurants and businesses often choose foam for foodservice products because it’s more durable and costs less than alternatives.

Polystyrene foam—often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, a registered trademark of Dow Chemical Company—is used for more than just cups. Restaurants, small businesses, schools, and hospitals also use foam for lunch trays, takeout containers, lids, plates, and other foodservice items.

Recycle that foam

A common misconception about polystyrene is that it cannot be recycled, but that simply isn’t the case. Foam is recycled at facilities across the country, including drop-off and curbside locations in the Chicago area.

When properly recycled, manufacturers reuse polystyrene foam to make products like picture frames, garden nursery trays, crown molding, and rulers. More importantly, recycling foam means less foam is littered or disposed of improperly.

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