In 2016, more than 118 million pounds of expanded Polystyrene or, EPS, was recycled in the United States alone. More than half of what was recycled was post-consumer packaging while the rest was from post-industrial recovery.
When we initially created this post back in 2010, that number was around 69 million. This goes to show that more and more people are recycling EPS — and that segment of the population is expected to keep growing.
Attitudes toward EPS have changed a great deal over the years, mostly because EPS recycling is possible. Individuals and businesses are a lot more environmentally conscious these days, and reducing waste has become more of a priority. They know that while EPS is lightweight, durable and doesn't cost a lot, it doesn't belong in landfills because it isn't biodegradable. That's why recycling EPS is an absolute must.
Some Recycled EPS Products?
While you might think that it's better to make products from new materials, it's different in the case of EPS. It tends to be cheaper to produce new polystyrene products from used ones. This method is highly effective when it comes to packaging materials.
Now, recycled EPS can't be used to make insulated cups, foam trays or anything else that will come in contact with food. However, it can be used to make items like outdoor furniture, roofing tiles, coat hangers, seedling containers, door and window frames, packing peanuts and so much more. EPS can even be mixed with concrete and used to make prefabricated concrete blocks. When EPS is combined with soil and compost, it helps promote aeration. When it's blended with plastic, it can be used to make decking and interior trim. EPS has also become extremely popular in the construction industry. It's used to make insulated concrete forms and other structural panels, thus helping to make building practices more sustainable.
Want to Start Recycling EPS? We Can Help!
While EPS is highly recyclable, it's tough to recycle at the consumer level. It has to be shipped to facilities where it can be compressed. Once it's compressed, it can then be recycled and then used again.
If your business uses a lot of EPS and needs a better method for recycling it, an EPS recycling compactor can help. By having one on-site, you can compress bulky foam waste so it's much easier to transport and recycle.
Foam Equipment & Consulting specializes in Heger recycling compacting systems that can help streamline operations and save your organization time and money. Take a look at what we have to offer and if you have any questions or need help in determining which solution is right for you, contact us today. We'd be more than happy to assist you.