EPS is one of the most hotly debated materials when it comes to recycling. The main ingredient air itself is very flexible, effective in reducing product damage, and inexpensive. However, the same properties make recycling more expensive because it takes up a lot of space.
In addition, its low weight makes it easily swept away by wind or water, which exacerbates the plastic problem in the oceans. The good news is that EPS is recyclable, although it is expensive.
There are two types of expanded polystyrene recycling: expanded and extruded polystyrene. Polystyrene itself is a form of plastic, a polymer that can be extruded or expanded.
The catering industry is a major consumer of this product and produces stable, protective and insulated bowls, cups and containers. These properties also make it the packaging material of choice for protecting shipping products.
EPS is an attractive material for product packaging because it is strong but light, is an effective insulator, and its structure protects the product from impact damage. In addition, EPS uses less energy and water to produce than paper alternatives.
The high cost of transporting polystyrene waste makes recycling companies reluctant to recycle. Companies that receive large quantities of EPS foam (especially in packaging) can invest in sealants that reduce product volume. Recyclers pay more for sealed products, making investments relatively easy to amortize.