Recycling

EPS recycling – the facts

Expanded Polystyrene EPS can be recycled
    EPS Recycling
  • New expanded polystyrene EPS Recycling technologies are emerging

    New EPS Recycling technologies are emerging

    Projects are being evaluated to enable EPS polymers and can be broken down to provide the feedstocks for new polystyrene. New technologies, such as PSLoop and POLYSTYVERT, are emerging.

    Two new facilities opened in 2018.

  • EPS is recyclable

    EPS is recyclable

    EPS Recycling is most successful in commercial waste streams with large volume sources of EPS waste.

    Creative problem-solving for challenging recycling scenarios means PC World, John Lewis and Billinsgate Fish Market are committed to long-term EPS recycling.

    The majority of EPS waste is currently collected and converted into Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) insulation panels for the construction industry, reducing the environmental impact of building.

    The current UK EPS packaging recycling rate is > 50%. Discussions with local authorities are underway to improve recycling from household waste.

  • EPS endmarkets show consistent growth

    EPS endmarkets show consistent growth

    EPS is used as recycled content in new EPS packaging and other EPS products including insulation products for the construction industry.

    EPS Substitutions
  • Material substitutions are more risky than expanded polystyrene EPS

    Material substitutions are risky

    On a global scale, environmental costing indicates that alternatives to plastics may cost $400 to $500 billion more (4 to 5 times more).

    Meat, fish and produce shipped in EPS have a longer shelf life, leading to less food waste. Click here for more information on comparative analysis of fresh fish packaging.

    EPS is recognised the safest way to transport temperature-controlled and medicines and even human organs.

  • EPS is more sustainable than most people imagine

    EPS is more sustainable than most people imagine

    Recent studies show that heavier alternatives to lightweight plastics can be significantly increase raw material requirements, energy consumption and landfill volume.

  • Litter problems are not material dependent

    Litter problems are not material dependent

    Improper disposal of any material contributes to litter, whether it is EPS or another material.

    Health and safety
  • New expanded polystyrene EPS Recycling technologies are emerging

    EPS is an organic polymer

    Polystyrene is an organic compound consisting of hydrogen and carbon.

    Polystyrene is chemically inert, being resistant to acids and bases but is easily dissolved by many chlorinated solvents and many aromatic hydrocarbon colvents.

  • There is very little residual styrene in EPS expanded polystyrene

    There is very little residual styrene in EPS

    The amount of styrene that may exist in finished polystyrene is extremely small – often lower than naturally-occurring styrene found in everyday food items such as coffee, strawberries and cinnamon.

    All chemicals need to be assessed in terms of risk versus exposure. Risks can be zero, negligable or harmful.

  • EPS expanded polystyrene is safe

    EPS is safe

    Polystyrene foam is approved for food contact by the FDA and other global regulatory services.

    According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “although marine debris is a global issue, there are significant gaps in our understanding of the problem.”