Le Lézard
Classified in: Environment
Subjects: NPT, SVY, ENI

Polystyrene Bans Aren't The Answer

2018 Report Shows EPS Recycling is Successful

CROFTON, Md., Oct. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanded polystyrene (EPS) has been on the minds of environmental groups and local governments, and prevails as a popular social media topic. These thought trains tend to focus on the negatives instead of recognizing how EPS manufacturers, recycling facilities and everyday people are taking action to improve EPS recycling. As a result of these efforts, the 2018 EPS Recycling Report proves that EPS recycling is viable ? and showing overall growth ? even while the recycling landscape is changing.

Following a notable drop in 2017, the report indicates there was a resurgence in EPS recycling in 2018, with over 113 million pounds recycled. Numbers had previously dropped to 63 million in 2017, mainly due to U.S. facility closures and ongoing international market fluctuations. The figures in the report show how post-use recycling increased to its second highest point ever, while post-industrial recycling nearly doubled from 2017.  

This year, in addition to the U.S. EPS recycling numbers, the EPS Industry Alliance collected EPS recycling data for the Canadian market. Topped at just over 6.7 million kilograms (14.8 million pounds), the 2018 Canadian EPS Recycling Report highlights the greatest amount of EPS recycled in Canada to date. The report, which is now managed by the EPS Industry Alliance, breaks down the amount recycled into post-use and post-industrial recycling, at 2.8 million kilograms (6.2 million pounds) and 3.9 million kilograms (8.6 million pounds), respectively. When compared to the U.S., EPS is recycled at the same rate by population in Canada.

EPS recycling awareness has improved over the course of the last decade, thanks in part to independent recyclers, manufacturers and the efforts of the EPS Industry Alliance. Social media, video communications and other outreach efforts have been effective at spreading information on EPS recycling to the general public. The recent release of EPS-IA's video, "We Want It Back," illustrates the industry's focus on diverting EPS from the landfill in order to provide recycled feedstock for everything from picture frames to crown molding and surfboards.

Since the report was first issued in 1991, EPS recycling has proven to be sustainable as new technologies are developed and recycling locations become more accessible. Major advancements in EPS recycling technologies, such as pyrolysis ? a form of chemical recycling ? are providing methods to dramatically increase the amount of EPS that can be recycled, exhibiting continual growth and a promising future. The dedication of the EPS industry, combined with the engagement of independent recyclers and the general public, has proven that EPS can ? and will continue to ? be recycled successfully.

For more information, please contact Betsy Bowers at 800-607-3772, betsy.bowers@epsindustry.org, or visit www.epsindustry.org.


SOURCE EPS Industry Alliance

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