Styrofoam is everywhere is Jamaica---restaurants and schools island-wide package all of their meals in Styrofoam boxes, so one can imagine the waste created. The Jamaica Gleaner just published an article a few weeks ago how the country is inching towards banning plastic bags and Styrofoam, perhaps they are inspired by Guyana, which has banned the importation of Styrofoam products since April of this year. I was unable to find any articles on how the ban in Guyana has changed anything, such as food costs or what is now an effective alternative to the cheap and popular polystyrene drain-blocking foam that I see, and often use, almost every day of my life here in Jamaica. While prepping art and agriculture activities for 4-H Club, I have to consider large group sizes and different age groups; there are over 50 members from 1st-6th grade (the older group on Wednesdays, and the younger group on Fridays). My goal in 4-H club is to recycle "trash" for art and agriculture projects. For one, this is a no-budget club, and recycling waste also encourages the kids to look at the creative ways that items can be reused.
We basically simplified the instructions here to make our prints. All it took was Styrofoam plates, pencils, paint, some regular paintbrushes (couldn't find a roller brush) and paper. Students made their design directly onto the back of plate instead of drawing or cutting anything out (as stated in the link), and then they picked a color to make their print onto a card. Inside the card, we wrote letters that we hope to send to another 4-H Club overseas. It was easy and fun! So things didn't get out of control, I helped them make their print one-by-one, and usually with just one color. Towards the end of class after everyone was able to make one print, I let them experiment more with colors.
Students can keep their new stamp and make prints over and over. This was a simple activity that everyone really enjoyed. I recommend doing it with a secondary activity (such as writing a letter) so students don't get antsy waiting for assistance to complete their print. Perhaps your group is smaller in numbers or more mature and can handle doing the prints on their own---I wasn't willing to test out these freedoms on that day in particular, haha (I saw the future and it was split paint).
We know that Styrofoam takes an incredible amount of time to break down, but perhaps there is hope; Stanford published an article pointing to research that meal worms were (slowly but steadily) able to digest Styrofoam. The article stated that the meal worms in the experiment were as healthy as their counterpart larvae fed a regular diet and that their processed Styrofoam-poo was safe for soil. Hopefully, finding ways to deal with our waste in the world will become a priority of all humans, while actively working towards making less of it in the first place.
Side note: Not pictured because she was taking the pictures, my wonderful friend, Walker, joined me for this 4-H class. She came down for the wedding and then adventured across the island for a few weeks with a bag slowly falling apart and shoes that never quite dried. Here is a picture of us at my wedding, which I have to say she was instrumental in keeping me grounded during all of the wedding prep (and clean-up) with her calm spirit. Safe travels home and walk guud, Walker!