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The 100% recyclability of EPS 

In the pursuit of environmental sustainability for the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) sector, EUMEPS and its members continually seek to enhance the circularity of EPS materials which are fully recyclable. This is accomplished in two ways, the recovery and recycling of both used EPS packaging and construction EPS cut offs, and through collaborative initiatives to better track and quantify recycling efforts and to spread the culture of separate collection for EPS waste.

Recycling: The Foundation of Our Environmental Strategy  

At the heart of our sustainability efforts is our focus on mechanical recycling a method that allows uncontaminated to be efficiently processed and reincorporated into new products. This method is notable as the least energy-intensive form of recycling, offering significantly reduced environmental impact.

Chemical recycling, on the other hand, aims to turn EPS waste back to its original monomers. This process offers a promising pathway to achieving true circularity, by returning contaminated EPS waste to a state indistinguishable from virgin material and represents a significant advancement in our journey towards sustainability.

 

Examples of EUMEPS Engagement to EPS Recyclability 

EUMEPS actively participates in the European Standardisation to design recycling guidelines, ensuring that EPS products are manufactured with their end-of-life recyclability in mind. Lifecycle assessments (LCAs) represent an important step of the process, to identify and quantify the environmental benefits of various recycling processes, ensuring feasible and optimised ecological advantages.

As a member of PolyRec, EUMEPS promotes the use of RecoTrace®, a system that allows member companies to record the volume of recycled EPS by the tonne, providing the industry with better traceability and improved transparency.

EUMEPS is financing the Conversio study, a comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of EPS packaging over an extended period, providing the industry with vital guidelines to align with European environmental goals.

EUMEPS is collaborating in the Créa-STYR project, a French initiative that aims to bring recyclability rates of EPS packaging as close to a 100% as possible, to continue driving the sustainability of the industry.

Building towards a Greener Future through Recycling

Through initiatives such as lifecycle assessments, design for recycling guidelines, and strategic collaborations to further increase EPS recycling rates and improve its traceability, EUMEPS is setting a high standard for environmental stewardship in the EPS industry.