How Expanded Polystyrene Are Recycled?

How Expanded Polystyrene Are Recycled?

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is certainly a material of choice if you want a low-cost option that does the job – packaging your prized products, providing insulation, etc. Some concerns have understandably arises from EPS’s appealing features, due to the methane gases – chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) – that are used in EPS production. The solution?

Is to recover and recycle EPS as much as possible, to prevent harmful consequences in near future.

expanded polystyrene recycled

And the good news is EPS are recyclable. Completely.

How Expanded Polystyrene Are Recycled?

Of course, the hassle with recycling synthetic materials is you need to collect the material and sort them out, and they need to be recycled in a centralized plant.

The process starts with EPS’ segregation from other materials it attached to to minimize contamination and efficient recycling process. Isolated EPS are then bagged in loose form and transferred to a collection center.

The EPS are then fed into a granulation machine and are compressed into certain length for shipment.

The blocks are then shredded to form into General Purpose Polystyrene (GPPS) pellets, where it’s used as a filler material for various applications.

As mentioned before, the issue with recycling EPS is the transportation itself; EPS is quite bulky thus it needs to be compacted as much as possible into manageable sizes before having them transferred to the plant.

Usually the process involves mechanical compression, or alternatively, using a natural solvent called limonene to melt the foam minus the heat, to reduce it as far as 5% or it’s original size.

When incinerated, the process produces only carbon dioxide and water.


Since EPS requires a specialized plant for recycling, it’s best to contact your local municipal to know the closest plant for EPS recycling.


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