What is EPS?
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a fixed, closed cell, thermoplastic, foam material produced from solidified beads of polystyrene, which is polymerised from styrene monomer and contains pentane (an expansion gas) dissolved within the polystyrene bead.
Small amounts of gas are contained in each solid polystyrene bead which expands when steam (heat) is applied therefore forming closed cells of EPS. The expanded cells take up approximately 40 times the volume of the original polystyrene bead. Utilising a mould with a second heat treatment, sizeable EPS blocks can be moulded into tailored shapes.
EPS comprises 98% air and is one of the lightest packaging materials. As a result this puts minimal weight to packaging, therefore transport costs and fuel emissions are kept low. Read more here.
EPS makes dependable and effective protective packaging for a comprehensive range of goods owing to its durability.
How is it recycled?
EPS is recyclable and is being recycled by both consumers and businesses around the world. It is able to be recycled into diverse new materials including hardwood replacement for garden furniture and slate replacement for roofing tiles: Read more here.
Currently most of the EPS waste in the UK is collected and transformed into Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) insulation panels for the construction industry, this reduces the environmental impact of building: View the recycling facts here.
The International EPS Alliance (INEPSA) was formed in 1992 by EPS organisations from:
- Asia (AMEPS)
- Europe (EUMEPS)
- North America (EPS Industry Alliance)
To augment EPS recycling and environmental stewardship epsrecycling.org/inepsa
Information regarding the above EPS organisations can be found here:epsrecycling.org/contact
Availability, method of operation and access of EPS recycling can vary from country to country.
Where are the recycle points?
Contact information regarding EPS recycling in specific countries or regions can be found here:
Within the UK there are 13 EPS recyclers, details of which can be found here: www.eps.co.uk/recyclers
Further information about EPS recycling can be found here: