Last month, the Expanded Polystyrene Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) published its 2012 bi-annual recycling report, which indicated a steady rise in the rate of expanded polystyrene recycling. In creating the report, the EPS-IA collected data from both post-residential and post-commercial collection streams to more accurately survey EPS recycling trends.
According to the data collected from 51 EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers across the United States, there was a slight decrease in the amount of post-consumer pounds recycled, and a significant increase in the number of post-industrial pounds recycled in 2012. As EPS post-consumer recycling contributes to half of all post-use polystyrene recycled in the U.S., EPS packaging recycling rates continue to rise steadily.
Mary Burk of ACH Foam Technologies believes that the next goal of the EPS industry should be to garner more consumer support and participation when it comes to recycling. “We are seeing a good result in the commercial/industrial sector, but now it’s time to elicit a higher level of awareness and increased participation from end-users that will move the post-consumer rates in the same direction,” she says.
To help encourage EPS recycling participation, the EPS-IA has developed programs such as the Excellence in EPS Recycling Award. This award is intended to inspire members of the EPS recycling community to continuously strive for greater achievement, while raising public awareness of their work and EPS recycling in general.