EPS Foam Recycling

September 23, 2014

The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) published its annual report detailing the amount of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam recycled throughout the United States. The report shows steady growth in the amount of EPS recycling due to the EPS collection and processing technology advancements, as well as the new market developments for recycled EPS. Independent recyclers and EPS manufacturers stated that more than 125 million pounds of expanded polystyrene foam was recycled last year, including all post-consumer, post-commercial and industrial recovery.

EPS foam recycling has one of the highest recycling rates among plastics, despite the common misconception about its recyclability. Local community programs and the recycling initiatives from large companies, like Wal-Mart, have helped EPS recycling become better established in the past few years.

EPS-IA hopes to alter the misperception about foam recycling by better educating the public about the availability of recycling locations and special collection events. Social media outlets have proved to be useful tools for getting the public involved in expanded polystyrene recycling. EPS-IA’s uses their Facebook to encourage followers to support recycling efforts, locate local businesses that accept EPS foam packaging and discover new informational resources to aid recycling.

The combined efforts from the general public and small and large companies are recognized for the continued improvement in foam recycling. Although it can be characterized as difficult to recycle, the 2013 report shows an all-time high post-consumer and post-commercial recycling rate of 34%. ESP-IA is encouraged by these results and they expect to continue moving in the right direction.