Styrofoam (polystyrene foam) has a useful life of mere hours or days, but exists in the
environment for hundreds or thousands of years. It can be carried by the wind, washed into storm drains, and make its way to the ocean contributing to a mass of floating plastic debris. Marine mammals mistake it for food, and it remains in their guts, often causing death by starvation.
The manufacture of foam creates significant quantities of hazardous waste, and exposure to styrene presents a risk to worker’s health.
If at all possible let's avoid Styrofoam whenever possible. If you receive foam peanuts in a mailing recycle them by taking them to a local mailing service shop for reuse. Always call ahead to make sure the business does accept foam peanuts.