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2012 EPS Recycling Report

Many are not aware EPS (expanded polystyrene) packaging is recyclable – and is Domestic EPS Recyclingbeing recycled successfully by businesses and consumers across the United States. The 2012 EPS Packaging Recycling Rate Study (the “Rate Study”) was conducted by the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA). The 2012 results reflect a modest decrease in the number of post-consumer pounds recycled, and a substantial increase in the number of post-industrial pounds recycled based on data received from fifty one EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers in the United States.

EPS Recycling Rate Increased

EPS recycled during calendar year 2012 is more than 93 million pounds.This figure includes 36.7 million pounds of post-consumer packaging and 56 million pounds of post-industrial recovery. Post-commercial recycling is defined as any material that is recycled after its intended end-use. Post-industrial recovery includes EPS facility scrap that is recycled but never served its intended end-use as a packaging material. Since 1991, EPS recycling has demonstrated a stable baseline, incremental growth and steady end-use market developments. This growth can be attributed to innovative and sustainable programs specifically geared to EPS recycling. Businesses and consumers play a shared role in reducing the amount of packaging material that enters the waste stream by doing their part to recycle. Through this integrated approach – with everyone doing their part – increased recycling is achievable. As compared to the 2010 Rate Study, 2012 showed an increased incremental growth in the amount of post-industrial recycling.This is supported by a steadfast reliance on high volume sources and proves the success of industry recycling efforts in the United States.Advances in EPS recycling technology, collaborative collection programs and new end-use markets have continued to broaden EPS recycling opportunities. In addition,the EPS industry fosters ongoing development of new and innovative recycling technologies that will promote further EPS recycling growth.These include recycled content resin and unique volume reduction technologies that are showing great potential. Continue reading

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