More than 71 million pounds of EPS recycled in U.S. in 2010, study finds; over past two decades, EPS recycling in U.S. has established steady baseline, incremental growth, steady end-use market developments
October 10, 2011
– More than 71 million pounds of expanded polystyrene was recycled in 2010 in the U.S., according to a report from the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
The amount of recycled EPS included 31.7 million pounds of post-commercial packaging, 5.4 million pounds of post-consumer packaging and 34.2 million pounds of post-industrial recovery. AFPR described post-consumer and post-commercial recycling as all material that is recycled after its intended end-use. Post-industrial recovery was described as recycled material that never made it to its designated end-use.
AFPR found that EPS recycling in the U.S. has matured over the last two decades to achieve a stable baseline, incremental growth and regular end-use market developments.
The Crofton, Maryland-based trade group identified several U.S.-based companies that are supporting EPS recycling by sharing responsibility with other entities along the supply chain. They include Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., which has started a closed-loop recycling system and uses collected EPS to make recycled picture frames. A number of pharmaceutical companies have also provided customers with prepaid return shipping materials for biomedical coolers made from EPS.
AFPR noted as well that EPS recycling opportunities have grown due to advances in EPS recycling technology, more collaborative collection programs and recently developed end-use markets for recycled EPS.