Reducing foam packaging is an economical way to reduce waste costs.
Expandable polystyrene and other foam plastics are 98% air making them very bulky in comparison to their weight. The high volume fills dumpsters quickly, leading to higher waste disposal costs. Foam Compactors reduce the volume of expanded foam products, and in turn, less fees are incurred through reduction. Also a benefit, compacted foam products can be shipped economically to a recycling location. Compacting foam plastics can save thousands in unnecessary waste costs!
A benefit to a variety of markets: manufacturers, furniture stores, appliance stores, food/seafood industry, property management agencies, retail sector, schools and school districts, stadiums/parks, and any expandable plastics recycling program.
Today’s demand for recycling grows ever stronger
Waste reduction is on the priority list for many companies and communities. The impact of consumer waste is evident everywhere. Recycling efforts are implemented in many industries: Paper, aluminum, plastic bottles, corrugated, and EPS/Styrofoam waste are just some of the varieties of recycling programs within industries around the world today.
Recycled Foam materials are “rich” in value.
Companies value the recycled material used to make a variety of the items seen on shelves today. Anything from picture frames to plastic lumber, recycled expanded plastics are even made back into packaging. Companies are paying substantial income for the recycled product. The demand for recycled polystyrene is valued over many metals, glass, paper, and other recyclables.
The time to compact your EPS/ Styrofoam and other expandable plastics is now!
If disposal of eps/styrofoam packaging is a high percentage of your wastes costs, then this is obviously a beneficial way to reduce those unnecessary costs. Everyday that expanded plastics are going to the dumpster without being compacted is a waste of money and vital resources that can be used more effectively. This is an intelligent decision for your business; reduce the annual budget for waste removal. Remember, recycling these products is a value to you, the economy, and the environment.
Take the time to see if these options are something that can benefit your business and/ or community. More information available at http://www.foamequipment.com
There is an excellent article posted today on the Plastics Today website pointing out two important facts, EPS packaging is recyclable and EPS packaging is a small component in our landfills and solid waste stream.
One fact that is restricting EPS recycling efforts is that many municipalities and recycling centers do not accept Styrofoam / EPS packaging. This may be because foam compacting equipment is needed to convert the light, bulky material into a densified form for economical shipping. Densified EPS material is in demand by recycling companies so the revenue from material sales can usually offset the cost of the foam compactor.
Please contact your local recycling company and ask if EPS foam or Styrofoam is accepted. If not, encourage them to look into the benefits of recycling EPS.
The 2010 AFPR recycling rate report referenced in the Plastics Today article can be found here.
If you would like more information on equipment to densify EPS & Styrofoam for recycling, we would be happy to help. Contact us at email@example.com or visit our web at www.foamequipment.com.
The latest EPS recycling report was just released by the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (AFPR). The 2010 report shows a considerable increase in the EPS recycling percentage over the 2008 report, even during a poor economy when less EPS was sold.
EPS used for shape molding applications such as packaging has one of the highest recycling rates of all plastics, increasing from 19.5% in 2008 to 28% in 2010.
This is encouraging news as many people are still unaware that EPS and Styrofoam are recyclable. Based on the calls we receive, the concept of recycling EPS packaging is still new to many companies.
One of the hurdles to EPS recycling is collection and transportation. Many communities do not accept PS, EPS or Styrofoam at the neighborhood recycling center and very few communities accept Styrofoam in the curbside recycling program limiting the collection of post-consumer EPS.
A second hurdle that goes hand in hand with collection is a lack of compacting and densification equipment at the community recycling centers. Due to the bulkiness and light weight of EPS packaging, it should normally be compacted into a dense form before it is shipped to a plastics processor for recycling. Compacting the foam, which is approximately 98% air, makes transportation economical. Once a community decides it would like to add EPS and Styrofoam to their recycling program, a compactor specifically designed to densify EPS should be acquired.
As more communities add EPS and Styrofoam to their recycling programs, the recycling percentages for this material will continue to climb.
One of the problems many people have when considering a compactor or densifier for scrap foam plastics is how much foam do they really have? Since packaging foam is very lightweight and can be very bulky, what appears to be a large quantity may not be so much after all. Typical polystyrene foam packaging and insulation is usually in the density range of 1 to 2 pound per cubic foot. What this means is if you have a 12 inch x 12 inch x 12 inch cube of solid foam, it would weigh between 1 and 2 pounds. Since most packaging foam is not used in a solid block form but is molded into relatively thin designs to protect the product, several cubic feet of polystyrene or polyethylene packaging foam may be required to equal a pound of foam.
Here are a few guidelines for estimating the weight of uncompressed EPS or EPE foam pieces. (This excludes stacked sheet foam and block foam)
- A 53' trailer load will weigh 1500 - 2000 pounds
- A 20 yard roll-off dumpster containing only EPS foam will hold 200 - 300 pounds of EPS
- A 12 foot square mound of foam packaging piled 8 feet high will weight about 100 - 150 pounds of EPS
Are you still unsure of your weekly or monthly EPS waste volume? We are happy to give you a hand. Give us a call at 314-427-4395 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FYI: Styrofoam is a registered trademark for the Dow Chemical brand of extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). It is usually blue in color and made in the form of a sheet. Expandable polystyrene (EPS) is a bead type foam which can be molded into shapes, blocks, and sheets. It is typically white in color but can be died to any color. EPS is frequently but erroneously referred to a Styrofoam.
There is a misconception that Styrofoam TM (Expandable PolyStyrene or EPS) is not recyclable and that is wrong. EPS recycling is growing stronger every day. Styrofoam TM or EPS is the number "6" recycling plastic and it must be reduced or compacted to make it feasible to ship to a plastics recycler. It has become a coveted raw material for recyclers and they are discovering a wide range of markets for it.
A full trailer load of loosely stacked EPS foam will only weigh approximately 2000 pounds. After the foam is run through a compactor or densifier 40,000 pounds or more can go on that same trailer and now it is cost effective for shipping. A screw compactor can take a 1 pound per cubic foot piece of Styrofoam and reduce the volume to as much as 20 pounds per cubic foot. This compactor or densifier can also process other types of foam.
There needs to be bigger push for all types of recycling, Styrofoam included. It's plain and simple, recycling still costs more than landfilling in many locations - it's all about the cost.
So how do we curb the landfilling? Just like we do for alcohol, cigarettes and gambling, we create a sin tax that would increase the cost of landfilling. This tax money is then used for recycling efforts: setting up recycling locations, paying workers and purchasing equipment, like the EPS compactor.