Expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging is recyclable. In fact, it has been successfully recycled by businesses and consumers throughout the United States for over 25 years. The material’s recyclability is one of the heavily debated misconceptions about EPS.
Published by Vericool®, a packaging company of Vericoolers® in California shares misconceptions about EPS packaging in their published article “Vericoolers® Eliminate 60 Tractor-Trailers Worth of Toxic Polystyrene in 2017” (and additional articles have also been published). We challenge their claims and reference the EPS Industry Alliance study and research (EPS-IA,) “Take A Look At EPS Recycling – 2016” .
False Claim #1: According to Vericool® article, “In the U.S., millions upon millions of tons of toxic expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam, commonly referred as Styrofoam, ends up in landfills and waterways each year—harming humans, wildlife and their ecosystems, and costing society $7 billion annually.”
In 2016 alone, a total of 118.7 millions pounds of EPS was recycled! Broken down into post – industrial and post-consumer. Post-industrial recycled 55.7 million pounds and post-consumer recycled 63.0 million pound of EPS. EPS represents less than 1% of the total municipal solid waste stream by weight and volume, not filling up the landfill.
False Claim #2: Vericool® states “EPS foam is dangerous and it’s wrecking our environment,” said Darrell Jobe, CEO of Vericool. “There’s absolutely no reason why companies shouldn’t switch to our Vericoolers.”
EPS is not dangerous. EPS is made of 98% air and is an inert material without harmful chemicals that off-gas or leach during its use or disposal.
False Claim #3: Same article Vericool® states, “Plus, 22 states don’t even have recycling locations.”
There are nearly 300 EPS drop-off locations, 82 curbside programs and more than 50 per year special EPS collection events. Learn more about recycling your EPS by clicking here!
EPS comes in a variety of custom molds and applications providing superior performance for protective packaging, custom installation for businesses, or even a bicycle helmet. EPS containers are water resistant and have thermal-insulating properties. It is not a dangerous product. Again, EPS is made with 98% air!
The backlash that the EPS Industry receives does not justify the progress EPS recycling has made in the past 25 years. The EPS industry shows incremental gains; fostering in ongoing development of new and innovative recycling initiatives. EPS has shown steady growth in post consumer and post-industrials sectors.