Posts Tagged ‘Polystyrene packaging’

Other Recycled Styrofoam Content Factors

Posted 29 Jun 2012 — by Marketing
Category Application

There are other factors that may limit the ability of packaging manufacturers to incorporate significant amounts of recycled content into expanded bead protective packaging, such as constraints on the availability of recovered material.

Styrofoam protective packaging has an average recycling rate of ten percent. This level of recycling is amazing given that virtually no community-based recycling programs collect Styrofoam from consumers for recycling. Most of the Styrofoam that is recycled comes from manufacturing assembly plants that receive components packaged in Styrofoam protective packaging. In most cases, Styrofoam recovery for recycling at these companies is already occurring and there is little opportunity for additional recovery. Because Styrofoam packaging represents such a small portion of the residential solid waste stream, community-based recycling programs are not likely to add Styrofoam to their list of materials for collection. The conclusion to be drawn is that recovered material supply (for recycled content manufacturing) is limited to near current levels.

EPS recycling machine manufacturer | Harden IndustriesCompanies that mold non-foam rigid polystyrene products purchase about one quarter of the Styrofoam packaging that is recycled. Styrofoam molders consume approximately half of the remainder, with an equal amount of material being consumed by polystyrene loosefill manufacturers. Limits on recycled content in Styrofoam protective packaging that are based on lack of supply and competition by other recycled product uses, therefore, result in an average industry-wide post-consumer recycled content percentage of two percent (not including pre-consumer manufacturing scrap). A similar discussion applies to ARCEL® and EPP, which are recovered at even lower levels than is Styrofoam packaging.

In conclusion, even though technical considerations generally limit the recycled content loading in expandable bead protective packaging from five to ten percent, constraints on the availability of recovered material may further limit packaging manufacturers to lower levels of recycled content.

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