Recycling Rate for EPS Packaging Still on the Rise

Community Involvement Spikes Post-Consumer Collection

CROFTON, MD, September 15, 2014 – The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) released its annual report documenting the amount of expanded polystyrene (EPS) recycled throughout the country. The 2013 EPS Recycling Rate Report shows continuous growth in the amount of EPS recycling as a result of ongoing collection and processing technology advancements and new market developments for recycled EPS. The report illustrates that more than 125 million pounds of EPS was recycled last year, which includes all post-consumer, post-commercial and industrial recovery. This information was collected from 41 EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers within the United States.

Despite ongoing misperceptions about its recyclability, EPS recycling is well established and consistently maintains one of the highest recycling rates among all plastics. For more than 25 years local community programs, in conjunction with recycling initiatives from large companies that use EPS packaging – such as Walmart, Omaha Steaks® and Nutrisystem® – have proven that creative and collaborative solutions provide positive results.

Educating the public about EPS recycling and the availability of recycling locations and special collection events is an important factor in the continued increase of the EPS recycling rate and is one of the primary functions of EPS-IA. Via increasingly popular social media outlets, EPS-IA is able to increase awareness and participation in EPS recycling efforts. EPS-IA’s Facebook presence encourages followers to take proactive steps to support special collection events, locate local businesses that accept EPS foam packaging and learn about new informational resources to facilitate EPS recycling.

The 2013 report touts an all-time high post-consumer and post-commercial recycling rate of 34%. Industrial recovery decreased slightly from 56.9 million pounds in 2012 to 54.5 in 2013. Increased consumer and corporate involvement is key to maintaining a strong growth trend. While EPS is often characterized as difficult to recycle, the sharp increase in post-consumer and post-commercial EPS recycling from 2012 to 2013 clearly demonstrates that active involvement from the general public and small and large companies, can move the needle in the right direction.

For more details please see the 2013 EPS Recycling Rate Report or contact EPS-IA at (800) 607-3772.

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