Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:11 pm
Location: LA area

styrofoam containers?

I stumbled across a great planter idea - styrofoam. I've got a cooler, and some portable bait containers now that are a great size to turn into a planter. The only thing is ... I'm not sure how to paint them. I know it's possible, but there might be a specific paint to use. :?: I bought a can of spray paint which actually is melting the styrofoam. :shock: No help there. Any paint ideas?

Also - I am needing to put tomatoes in containers and am wondering about using these for the containers. I know edible fruit plants you want to be more careful about what they're potted in. Is styrofoam safe? :?: Is painted styrofoam safe? :?: I try to eat organic produce, so it is important to me that I'm not inadvertently eating chemicals. Thanks guys!

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Styrene (the primary ingredient, hence the name) has been shown to be toxic on several levels. The carcinogen potential is classified thusly by EPA;
there may be an association between styrene exposure and an increased risk of leukemia and lymphoma. However, the evidence is inconclusive due to confounding factors. EPA has not given a formal carcinogen classification to styrene.

There is clear data that styrene is taken up by plants...


All in all I think this is a very bad idea for food crops. Very bad... :evil:

I don't buy anything strofoam anymore as this stuff is a planetary bad deal...

Cool Member
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:11 pm
Location: LA area

Thanks Scott! Very helpful info, thanks.

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 11:11 pm
Location: Canberra

if you are going to use the stryo boxes, then make sure they are food grade ones... (they are treated differently, apparently)

Greener Thumb
Posts: 706
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Most any paint will melt styrofoam. They print on them with inks similar to printers, never paint. Oil and Petroleum based paints will melt them the quickest.

Full Member
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: south louisiana

This is some very good information and I'm thankful that you shared it. I had no idea about the toxins in styrofoam and will probably just toss everything out, since I don't want my plants infected. :cry:


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