According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a Styrofoam cup will decompose in approximately 50 years and a Styrofoam buoy in about 80 years. It is a common myth that Styrofoam will not break down.
Though the material itself cannot be recycled in the traditional sense, there are many ways it can be reused. Publix Supermarkets are a drop off site for Styrofoam packing material. They redistribute the packing material to local businesses at substantial discounts. They then donate the money to local communities. Foam egg cartons can be donated to local farmers or farmers markets to be reused. Other foam can be given new life as part of an art project. Thus, while Styrofoam cannot be recycled in the traditional manner, there are things that people can do to help make sure it is reused.