Foam Equipment's Blog

How We Recycle Polystyrene in the U.S.: A Look at the Most Recent Numbers

Posted by Phil Plotts

Dec 12, 2019 1:07:00 PM

About nine years ago, we took a look at The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers' (AFPR) 2010 U.S. EPS Recycling Report and shared a few key insights on our blog. Back then, we saw a considerable increase in EPS recycling despite the fact that less EPS was sold during this timeframe. In 2010, about 40 million pounds of EPS was recycled by consumers in the U.S. This was a significant increase from the two million pounds that was recycled in 1990 and 25 million pounds recycled in 2000. This increase is believed to go hand-in-hand with the development of more innovative and sustainable programs for EPS recycling.

What EPS Recycling Numbers Look Like Now

 

In the most recent U.S. EPS Recycling Report from AFPR, post-use EPS recycling was around 39.7 million pounds in 2018 as compared to 25.9 million pounds in 2017. As for post-industrial recycling, 74.1 million pounds of EPS was recycled in 2018. That number pretty much skyrocketed from 39.7 million in 2017.

Compressed EPS logs

 

It's amazing how far we've come in almost three decades. But thanks to new technologies for recycling polystyrene, including collection and reprocessing, these numbers are expected to keep trending upward. Back in 2010, the industry was up against a number of significant hurdles, one of which was the inability to collect and transport EPS for many 


 
communities. Another issue was the lack of compacting and densification equipment at businesses and community recycling centers. Since then, a number of industry developments have pretty much made these issues obsolete.

Looking to Recycle Polystyrene? We Can Help You Find the Right EPS Shape Molding Machine or EPS Recycling Compactor

 

As we look back, yesterday's recycling issues are molehills instead of mountains. Now, you can get EPS recycling machines that meet a wide range of industrial needs and objectives. If you're not sure where to start, we'd be more than happy to assist you with your search. Foam Equipment & Consulting Co. specializes in Heger EPS compactors and industrial foam grinders and EPS shape molding machines from Teubert and Nymphius. Take a look at our offerings and if you have questions about these machines and their capabilities, contact us.

Topics: styrofoam, compactor, densifier, styrofoam recycling, EPS, recycling