Over the last few months, you’ve heard us talk about the practicality of EPS foam and it’s lower than perceived environmental impact. Many people don’t know the difference between EPS foam, what we make here at Plymouth Foam, and Styrofoam, a trademarked name of EPS foam used in consumer applications like cups and carryout containers. This generic use of the term “styrofoam” has left industrial EPS foam molders out of many of the country-wide conversations on the environment. Thanks to advocates with the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA), that is changing.
In its recent newsletter, the EPS-IA mentioned that “This year, the association has organized more than ten plant visits and held numerous meetings with Congressional staffers to promote EPS industry stewardship and weigh in on sensible environmental policy. These efforts are aimed at federal lawmakers that have representation in states with EPS manufacturing plants.”
One such visit recently took place at the Polyfoam location of Altor Solutions, located in Northbridge, MA. Representative Jim McGovern (D) of Massachusetts’ second congressional district toured the facilities and met with company representatives to discuss the role of EPS foam in sensible environmental policy. The meeting highlighted the sustainability and recyclability of EPS with an added awareness of BioEPS (biodegradable) materials.
This visit was well timed given the actions of the General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA has recently asked for comments in response to its advance notice of proposed rule-making (ANPR). In an unusual turn of events, the GSA is considering updating its acquisition policy just a year after its last update. This is in large part because of lobbying from the Center for Biological Diversity and other environmental groups petitioning the government to re-think its use of single-use plastics. EPS foam is considered a single use plastic due to sharing many of the same polymers as typical plastic. While the GSA is largely independent of Congress, having much needed conversations with members of Congress is still important in terms of policy creation.
Plymouth Foam, and all of the Altor Solutions companies, believes strongly in sustainability aligned with good environmental policy. However, it’s also important to not lump all single use materials into the same pile. Determining the cost-benefit of removing all plastics, particularly in terms of things like shipping and insulation, is an important part of making sensible environmental policy. If you have questions about EPS foam and its role in a healthy global environment, we encourage you to read through our past blogs or contact us directly at email@example.com.