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Recycling Polyethylene and Polypropylene Foam Products

  
  
  
  
  
polyethylene recycling code

The demand for sustainability of all materials whether expanded foam plastics or any other materials are becoming the way of life.  When recycling foam materials such as expanded polyethylene and polypropylene, economic transportation becomes one of the major issues pertaining to the ability for a successful recycling program of these materials. 

2010 EPS Recycling Report

  
  
  
  
  
Compressed EPS logs

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.

How much scrap foam do I have?

  
  
  
  
  
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)

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