Protective and Insulation Packaging


EPS packaging has a positive environmental record:

  • Ozone-depleting CFCs or HCFCs have never been used in the manufacture of EPS.
  • The manufacture of EPS packaging is a low-pollution process.
  • Computer-aided design ensures that the minimum amount of material is used to make an appropriate EPS pack.
  • The excellent protection and insulation offered by EPS helps to prevent wastage and spoilage.
  • EPS is 100 per cent recyclable and 100s of tonnes of EPS are recycled each month in the UK.
  • EPS is inert and innocuous and provides stability in landfill because it does not biodegrade and leach chemicals into the water system or gases into the air that could contribute to global warming.
  • The use of EPS for insulation in the construction industry helps to reduce the energy used to heat and cool buildings.


EPS packaging offers outstanding performance that is cost-effective and totally reliable:

  • A moulded EPS pack is not damaged by moisture, damp or heat and continues to protect products whatever the external conditions.
  • EPS is 98 per cent air, making it one of the lightest packaging materials available anywhere.
  • Outstanding shock absorption and compression resistance can be designed into an EPS package.
  • EPS is an excellent insulator providing a thermal conductivity of 0.038 W/mK at 15g/l density and in-pack coolants can increase insulation performance.
  • Fruits and vegetables retain their vitamin C content longer if they are packed in EPS.
Lightweight EPS expanded polystyrene cycling helmets offer full protection

Lightweight EPS cycling helmets offer full protection


Every day of our lives EPS contributes to our safety:

  • EPS is used to make cycle helmets and child car seats because of its ability to absorb shock.
  • EPS is used to package shellfish, fresh fish and other vulnerable foodstuffs ensuring that they arrive in our homes fresh and safe to eat.
  • Vaccines and other temperature sensitive medicines are packed in tested EPS packs; guaranting that the vaccines are both effective and safe to use.
  • EPS is used in lifebelts and lifejackets to provide buoyancy.
  • In combustion the amount of carbon monoxide and particulates given off by EPS is a small fraction compared to that of wood or cardboard.
  • EPS can be used by children in art and science classes – it is light, has no sharp edges and can be safely cut, scraped and painted.

The predictable performance of moulded EPS makes it a useful material for an enormous range of requirements.

EPS is used for:

  • Fish Providing protection and insulation, EPS boxes keep fish and seafood fresh during transit.

  • Fresh produce Delicate fruits, vegetables and mushrooms are protected from bruising in EPS boxes. The boxes insulate to maintain optimum freshness, are resistant to moisture and do not break apart in unfavourable conditions.

  • Cookers, fridges, dish/washing machines are cost effectively protected by cleverly-designed, minimal EPS packaging, often used in combination with other plastics. The result is improved warehouse handling, reduced returns and customer satisfaction when a product arrives at their home in perfect condition.

  • Computers, TVs and other fragile, high value items are protected by EPS packs, not only from being dropped in transit, but also from damage whilst they are stacked in the warehouse.

  • Automotives EPS moulds are individually designed to fill complex voids in floors, door and roof linings. This allows the designer to change the height and shape of the interior.

  • Electrical EPS protects against dust, damp and rough handling. It can be given antistatic coating to protect sensitive microchips.

  • Medical & Pharmaceutical Life-saving items such as vaccines and internal organs are kept safe and insulated when transported in EPS packs.

  • Horticulture Plants are raised in EPS trays because they retain warmth,maintain an ambient temperature and are water resistant. And, their rigidity makes them easy to handle.

  • Bicycle Helmets The same shock absorption properties of EPS make it perfect for bicycle helmets and infant car seats.

  • Inspiration Sir Paul Smith, one of UK’s top designers, used a complex EPS mould to create unusual covers for his book, You Can Find Inspiration In Everything.

  • Housing EPS moulds are used to form a Lego-style framework into which concrete is poured. Buildings can be erected quickly and enjoy high levels of acoustic and thermal insulation.

A comparison of EPS packaging with other cushioning materials

A comparison of EPS Expanded Polystyrene packaging with other cushioning materials

Comparisons of ideal with actual cushions

Assuming the ideal cushion is completely compressed, that impact force and deceleration remain constant during deformation and, after deformation the pack is at rest, then under ideal conditions G=h/d. The theoretical term G then describes the quality of the material, and is related to the actual quality per unit volume of a real material by the factor C, where C = Gact/G = Gact/h/d. The potential energy of a dynamic load (e) that must be applied to a cushioning material to obtain a given value of C is given by e=mgh/Ad where A is length x width of the pack.

Minimum values for C and e are asterisked. Figures for the cushioning material are listed in the table and show an EPS mould provides the best cushioning