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Innovation boosts EPS foam recycling in North America

United States – The recycling rate of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam in the USA and Canada climbed to 35% last year, according to a report from the EPS Industry Alliance. Innovative outreach programmes are hailed as the reason behind the growth.

′Since 1991, EPS recycling has demonstrated stable, incremental growth and steady end-use market developments,′ notes the alliance. Last year was no exception, with a total of 127.3 million pounds recycled; this figure includes 72.8 million pounds of post-commercial and post-consumer packaging and 54.5 million pounds of post-industrial recovery.

′When comparing rigid, durable polystyrene and other grade materials, EPS post-consumer and post-commercial recycling represent 47% of all post-use polystyrene recycled in the US and is one of the highest within the plastics family,′ the alliance adds.

Recycling of post-consumer EPS in the USA and Canada first reached 10% back in 1992, climbing to 20% by 2006 and then roughly 30% in 2012. EPS can be ′easily′ recycled into new foam packaging or durable consumer goods like cameras and coat hangers, it is pointed out.

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