Foam Equipment's Blog

Have you put off buying your foam compactor?

Posted by Doug Malawey

Have you been watching the Euro?

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Topics: recycle styrofoam, EPS compactor, Economy

How much scrap foam do I have?

Posted by Phil Plotts

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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Topics: styrofoam, compactor, densifier, styrofoam recycling, expandable polystyrene, polyethylene foam, scrap foam

Styrofoam Recycling

Posted by Jeff Knapp

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.  

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Topics: styrofoam, compactor, styrofoam recycling, recycling plastic, eps foam, EPS compactor, screw compactor, recyclers

Where are you sending your recycled plastic?

Posted by Doug Malawey

 Where are you sending your recycled plastic products today?  Doesn't it make more sense to keep the recycle plastics here in the United States?

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Topics: recycling plastics, recycled, American jobs, American made

Recycled polystyrene, polyethylene, & polypropylene foam prices climb

Posted by Phil Plotts

Prices for virgin polystyrene, polyethylene and polypropylene resins in North American continue to increase.  Prices have increased as much as 20% or more since the beginning of 2010.  There has also been an increase in products made with recycled PE and PP content. These factors are helping to push up the prices for recycled PP and PE foam logs to very attractive levels.  At the recent Plastic Recycling Conference in Austin, TX, we received as many requests from buyers looking for material sources as we did for recycling machinery.  It is a good time to take a new look at your EPS, PE and PP foam wastes.  The return on investment for a foam compactor may be significantly better than a year ago.  We would be happy to assist you in your analysis and put you in touch with material buyers for updated material bids.
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Topics: styrofoam, styrofoam recycling equipment, Recycling polystyrene foam, recycling polyethylene foam, recycling polypropylene foam

Plastic Recycling Resin Identification Codes

Posted by Jeff Knapp

In 1988 The Society of Plastics Industry (SPI) developed the Resin Identification Code (RIC) system.   The codes were developed to provide a consistent national system to help workers on sorting lines identify post-consumer bottles using the 6 basic packaging resin classes.  The RIC system was not intended to imply recyclability.  Soon after their introduction, 39 states mandated that bottles and containers be marked with the recycling plastic Codes to assist source segregation at households.  This practice introduced the general public to the existence of the Code.  States also insisted on having an "OTHER" category.  The publics misinterpretation of the Codes, particularly OTHER, has become a serious problem.  The 6 basic resin classes (recycling numbers) no longer suffice to meet the needs of recyclers, particularly with regard to new resins and multi-material construction.   In 2008, SPI asked ASTM to take ownership of the codes.  ASTM agreed and initiated work to convert from the RIC to the ASTM standard format and address various issues using the ASTM consensus's based process.  ASTM is composed of 32,000 volunteer members from over 125 countries: consumers, producers design professionals, researchers, and academia.  Anyone with interest can participate on the ASTM committees.

ASTM's main focus

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Topics: recycling plastic, Recycling codes, recycle numbers

What is made from recycled EPS?

Posted by Jeff Knapp

Over 69 million pounds of EPS were recycled in 2008.  In the past decade EPS has achieved an average recycling rate of 12%, one of the highest of the plastics family. 

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Topics: recycle styrofoam, EPS, eps recycling, styrofoam recycling equipment, recycled, items, made, from

What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean? (Part 2)

Posted by Doug Malawey

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Topics: Recycling codes, types of plastic, recycle numbers

What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean? (Part 1)

Posted by Doug Malawey

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Topics: Recycling codes, types of plastic, recycling numbers, recycling symbols

Plastics Recycling Conference 2010

Posted by Phil Plotts

I want to let everyone know that we are exhibiting again this year at the Plastics Recycling Conference 2010 which will be held in Austin TX.  The conference will take place on March 2nd and 3rd.  The conference will include a tradeshow.  We will have booth #304 and would love to have you stop in.  The conference sponsors expect a great turnout again this year.  There were a record number of exhibitors this year and all spaces have sold out.  This primary focus of this conference is recycling, not solid waste management.  This is one of the best conferences in North America to meet people interested in recycling plastics of all types.  

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Topics: recycling plastic, eps recycling, styrofoam recycling equipment