Expanded polystyrene building products can be made with recycled content. This is achieved by blending post-industrial EPS that has been passed through a grinder, which reduces the material back into individual bead-sized particles that are then reintroduced into the molding process. Technical considerations generally limit the level of recycled content loading from 10 to 20 percent to maintain the minimum performance standards, as specified in ASTM C578, “Standard Specification for Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation.” However, specialized processes can incorporate higher recycled content levels.
Other EPS waste can be reground and mixed with concrete to produce new building products such as prefabricated concrete blocks. Adding EPS regrind increases the thermal performance of these applications in addition to providing an alternative to landfill disposal. Another example of recycled content EPS use can be found in co-mingled plastics products such as decking, lumber and interior trim.
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) recognizes recycled content insulation in its Recycled Content Product (RCP) Directory. Depending on the manufacturer and application, recycled content levels for various insulation products ranges from 25 to 100 percent.
In 2012, more than 93 million pounds of EPS was recycled, with the majority reprocessed in a closed-loop process. The amount recycled includes 36 million pounds of expanded polystyrene post-consumer packaging and 56 million pounds of post-industrial recovery. Post-consumer recycling is defined as any material that is recycled after its intended end-use as a consumer item – while post-industrial recovery would include EPS facility scrap that is recycled and therefore diverted from the municipal solid waste stream. The average annual post-consumer recycling rate for EPS is 15 percent.
Inject New Life to Recycled EPS——EPS Recovery
The first step of the process is recycle. It should be noted that only clean EPS can be processed by now, it means that dust, labels etc must be sweepped away previously. After that EPS is compacted to reduce volume and cut the cost during transportation.
In the treatment facilities, EPS is melt and then go through a filter to remove contamination. It is then compacted again and face cut before leaving the extruder
With this new method, it is not feasible to impregnating the beads with pentane. The alternative method is to leave the beads exposed to high pressure petane gas until the gas is absorbed.
Waste to Waves is an new program that recycles waste polystyrene foam into new surfboards.
Have you bought a new TV, computer or hi-fi? Turn your trash into slash by recycling your waste packaging foam – also known as styrofoam – into new products like recycled surfboard blanks.
Waste to Waves invites everyone to help create greener surfboard materials that help reduce negative impacts from surfboard production and diverting this foam/plastic trash away from the waste stream, and from our oceans, waves and beaches.
The program operates in selected surf shops in both Southern and Northern California. Waste to Waves accepts clean, white, Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam. This is exactly the same foam used inside EPS/epoxy surfboards.
The EPS foam is collected, recycled, and reprocessed into material which can then be used to make recycled EPS blanks. You’re creating the demand for more sustainable surfboards.
Shaping is not always as smooth as virgin EPS, but any skilled shaper with sharp tools will have no problem doing the job. 70% of the impact from EPS foam comes from the raw materials themselves, so using a recycled material is the best way to reduce impact.
Most used EPS is collected and easily converted into other EPS products, including long-life applications. These include coat hangers, CD cases and wood-substitute products. When used in fish boxes, EPS is less likely to be collected due to the fact that it has been
contaminated by the fish it has protected. However, our industry is constantly searching for viable recycling options which would enable the growth of facilities able to cope with EPS packaging used in the cold supply chain.
In spite of the widespread use of EPS in packaging, it has been calculated that EPS accounts for only 0.1% of Municipal Solid Waste
(MSW). As Government moves towards more clean-burn incineration of waste into energy, waste plastics (including EPS) are playing a crucial role in helping achieve the temperatures required for optimum clean-burn efficiency. In this way, with a calorific value higher than coal, end-of-life EPS can become a useful recoverable resource. Landfill is always a last resort but users of EPS fish boxes should be reassured that, even in landfill, EPS remains inert and will not decompose to generate greenhouse gases or degenerate to pollute the air, water or ecosystems. EPS has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and zero Global Warming Potential (GWP).
LDPE stands for: low density polyethylene.
Found in: Squeezable bottles; plastic soft drink, water, sports drink, beer, mouthwash, catsup and salad dressing bottles; plastic peanut butter, pickle, jelly and jam jars; oven able film and oven able prepared food trays, bread, frozen food, dry cleaning and shopping bags; tote bags; clothing; furniture; carpet. Also used in film applications due to its toughness, flexibility and relative transparency, making it popular for use in applications where heat sealing is necessary, like bread bags, dry cleaning, or frozen food bags. Read more
Green building is the growing movement to build homes and commercial buildings in such a way as to decrease their impact on the environment both during the construction process and throughout the lifetime of the building. The goal of green building is to build structures that are environmentally sustainable, capable of sustaining the earth ’s natural resources.
Green buildings reduce environmental impact through the following practices:
Energy efficiency and renewable energy
Use of environmentally preferable building materials
Waste reduction during the construction process
Healthy indoor environments
Environmentally conscious site plan