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February 26, 2010 – 11:42 pm

Polystyrene Politicians

- Posted in Competitons, Marketing related, Polystyrene Uses by Fran

Minister Eamon Ryan & Colm Lyon CEO Realex promote Media 2020 conference. (image

Minister Eamon Ryan & Colm Lyon CEO Realex promote Media 2020 conference. (image

The original idea behind this post was to show you examples of signs that made we created from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), and which feature government ministers.
I thought it would be topical, particularly with media talk of a cabinet reshuffle and the recent resignations of Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea and the Green Party’s Trevor Sargent.
The title was a little lame, “Polystyrene signs & Politicians”, so I started running through some alternatives and “Polystyrene Politicians” came into my head. I then started to think how the two might compare.

Here is a list of some of the properties and characteristics that apply to expanded polystyrene foam (EPS). I have my own ideas on how they would compare, but I would like you to add a comment below to see how you think they compare to our current crop of politicians.

Minister Batt O'Keefe at the 'F1 in Schools' press launch (image

Minister Batt O'Keefe at the 'F1 in Schools' press launch (image

Moulded into large blocks, but they don’t require heavy lifting equipment to move them as it is 95% air. It is used to fill large areas on civil engineering projects where ground conditions prevent traditional material being used; on multi story buildings to replicate stone features, and mixed with sand and cement to produce a lightweight concrete.

It can be used in various locations, both internal and external. Applications include: EWI (external wall insulation) for homes and commercial building; in foundations to prevent thermal cold-bridging, and in moulded boxes to ship food stuffs that are temperature sensitive.

Minister Mary Coughlan at the Qikroam launch (image via Cubic Telecom)

Minister Mary Coughlan at the Qikroam launch (image via Cubic Telecom)

It is often moulded to match the shape of the product and protects it from damage whilst it is being transported. Polystyrene’s  shock absorption properties make it suitable for packing delicate items. Blocks can also be cut into custom shapes or can be used as loose fill, known as packing peanuts.

Expanded Polystyrene foam, also known as Styrofoam, is widely recycled from businesses in commercial and retail sectors. It can be reused, but when it enters the waste recovery stream, it can reprocessed to make new blocks of EPS; melted down and  converted into other plastic products, or recovered as a fuel, due to it’s high calorific value.

Ministr John Gormley at the RIAI launch of the Register of Architects

Ministr John Gormley at the RIAI launch of the Register of Architects

For those of you that leave a comment we won’t promise you your own politician: we will do better than that. We will select the best comment and let you choose an item that is useful to you, e.g. an air guitar, your name, an outline of Ireland or some other prop.
So, point out a property of polystyrene present in a politician to possibly be picked for a polystyrene prize.

Post a Comment


  1. elly parker

    Posted March 4, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Polystyrene is the new teflon, politicians use it to “insulate” themselves from all the scandals…

  2. cgarvey

    Posted March 4, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Fianna Fáil politicians all share a number of EPS properties: For example, they:
    * Are already big-headed (expanded) little beads before they join
    * Are moulded in to shape by the party, often in to big awkward blocks
    * They don’t crack under pressure
    * They share the load of shock (allegations) or impact (of cutbacks, or the union; take your pick!) amongst them all
    * Above all are extremely lightweight when it comes to tough decisions

    Bonus marks: when Radiohead wrote Fake Plastic Trees they clearly didn’t do their research, because there’s no way a “polystyrene man” would crack!

  3. Fran

    Posted March 7, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Elly and Cathal for your comments.
    When I got to thinking, I found quite a few comparisons between the two. Some that could be taken seriously and others with a more light hearted viewpoint.
    It’s good to get your views.
    @elly would never have thought of the Teflon analogy
    @cathal Your really pushing for that “prize in polystyrene”.

  4. Pickin My Brains

    Posted March 10, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    How do you know when a politician is lieing…..when he/she opens his/her mouth

    That equates quite nicely with Polystrene….

    Because if it was really true…or really worth its weight…..they wudnt have to make a crappy polystyrene advert to promote it!!!

    Also Polystyrene is full of air and little pockets of air….a bit like a plitician…being full of hot air!!!

    And finally….its unbelieveably hard to get rid of….and is quite unsightly….a bit like the politicians!!

  5. Fran

    Posted March 11, 2010 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks Pickin My Brains for the comment. But…
    “crappy polystyrene advert” Jeez, we think the signs are much cooler than the ministers and better looking.
    “its unbelieveably hard to get rid of” this maybe true of politicians but polystyrene is very much recyclable. But we don’t want to start recycling any ministers, no matter what the green party say.

  6. Fran

    Posted April 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    @cathal After your comprehensive comparison between Polystyrene & politicians you win your name in foam.
    Thanks for all the comments

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