DS Smith Brand Logo: Foam Products

Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Exceeding Government Targets

Polystyrene recycling has increased again weighing in at over 5000 tonnes in 2009, a figure representative of over 30% of all EPS packaging manufactured in the UK. This is a huge achievement already exceeding Government targets of 25.5% for all plastics by 2010.

Industry experts The British Plastic Federation (BPF) are constantly working to raise the profile and encourage recycling of EPS. Currently most EPS recycling is carried out by businesses recycling the packaging that their products were sent out in.

The recycling tonnage could be higher if recycling banks were offered by local councils and the general public educated on the ease of the materials recycling capability and its actual environmental friendliness. Unlike household recycling schemes for plastics and card, an EPS recycling scheme is yet to be adopted by most councils. Last year such a scheme was set up in Guernsey for businesses and consumers and has been very successful.

Although bulky, EPS is only 98% air and is surprisingly easy to recycle because it’s a single polymer material that’s simple to breakdown and can be recycled easily into other products.

The 2012 budget has confirmed the government’s new packaging recycling targets. Later this year the government will be increasing packaging recycling targets in a bid to decrease the amount of recyclable material going to land fill. From now on the recycling targets for plastics will annually increase by 5%.

This increase will see plastics recycling jump from 32% to 57% by 2017

Foam Products are contacted on a regular basis by people who want to recycle EPS and as a company we provide recycling points at all 4 of our manufacturing plants throughout the UK and Ireland.