Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Airpop © vs Molded Pulp


Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Airpop © vs Molded Pulp


Last week we touched on the importance of EPS Expanded polystyrene (EPS), Airpop ©, and how the product’s production and delivery impacts the environment. Confirming why it is important to choose the correct packaging for your materials.


This week, we want to continue to share important environmental impacts along with both comparing and sharing misconceptions between EPS and molded pulp.


EPS or Molded Pulp?


Making smart packaging choices is crucial for cushioning and safety of the application and can result in a better option for the environment. That brings us to the exploration of molded pulp.


Unlike EPS, most molded pulp is made from recyclable newsprint materials. However, there are limitations. According to the EPS-IAP case study and research conducted by Oregon DEQ study, molded pulp requires a significant amount of natural gas during the drying process. Molded pulp and paper mills have significant global environment concerns. Molded pulp also weighs more than EPS packaging, resulting in increased fuel  and transportation cost.


The life cycle comparison between EPS and molded pulp shows that shipping the same box containing EPS uses less energy than molded pulp. Please reference the graph below!

Photo Courtesy: EPS-IAP


In addition, the EPS industry has facts regarding the environmental impact. According to the EPS-IAP study, You thought you had a good idea,  states,  “The EPS industry has achieved an average post-consumer recycling rate of 19% and average post industrial recycling rate of 25% for the past fifteen years, one of the highest among all plastics. The majority of post-industrial EPS scrap is reprocessed in house and an average of 50 percent of the post-consumer material collected is used in the manufacture of new EPS transport packaging and loose fill peanuts, which has significantly reduced requirements for raw material resources and energy and has diverted material from landfills”


Reconsidering your packaging materials or need guidance with EPS? Contact Plymouth Foam sales@plymouthfoam.com for your EPS packaging needs.