Expanded polystyrene recycling: EPS/XPS

Considering the peculiarities of the relationship between mass and volume of expanded polystyrenes (EPS and XPS) and the relevant difficulties in drying these kinds of material, it is absolutely important to design and study each washing line with a customized approach.

SOREMA, thanks to its long and deep experience can offer its customers the right customized solutions, which are studied case by case according to the customer’s specifications. This is done to take care of the recycling issues related to EPS and XPS materials.

EPS is an extremely lightweight material, which can be processed into many different products. The most common use of EPS is that of protective foam for delicate products, offering protection during storage and transportation. The advantages of this material, other than its low weight, are its high performance in adsorbing shocks and low cost. In addition, EPS is a good insulator, making it the material of choice in the transport of sensitive electronic components, food, and pharmaceutical products.

Recycling is a reprocessing of use EPS packaging to make new materials, from coat hangers to foam packagings and CD cases. The first step in recycling is the collection of EPS waste, which must be separated from the other plastic materials. The collected EPS is transported to the recycling plant. Here it is granulated , washed and extruded to produce R PS for different use

Over 200 EPS collection sites exist in the US. In 2013, 127 million pounds, corresponding to 58 million kilograms, of EPS were recycled. Of these, about 57% derived from post-consumer packaging, and the remaining 43% derived from post-industrial packaging. In the past years the amount of EPS going into the recycling process has been increasing significantly. In the US, about 15% of disposed EPS has been recycled. This rate is among the highest for all materials belonging to the plastics family.

Other recycling solutions