5 ways to reuse polystyrene

polystyrene packagingPolystyrene sometimes gets a bad press because it is bulky and it cannot be easily recycled without using some solvents. However, despite the negative characteristics, polystyrene waste can also be very useful in people’s homes.

The following are the top five ways in which you can reuse polystyrene.

  1. Use the polystyrene to make home-made superglue. Not many people know that they can recycle the polystyrene to make their own superglue. You can do so by mixing a large amount of packed peanuts with d-Limonene, which is orange rind oil. The oil ingredients will slowly break down and dissolve the polystyrene, making it sticky. Then you can use it as nice permanent glue.
  2. Use it for drainage in the base of your plant pots. Of course, you should not use it for pots where you grow edible fruits or veg, but it works great as replacement for gravel or pebbles in your plant pots. Line the base of the plant pot with a thin layer of polystyrene chunks and bed your plants as usual. Using polystyrene as drainage is great if you plan to regularly move your plants because it is a much lighter material.
  3. Polystyrene can also be used as an insulator. However, this should be done with extreme caution because the material is flammable if it is not treated with flame retardant.
  4. Polystyrene materials can be used for cushioning different delicate things during a house move or for shipping fragile materials.
  5. Use the polystyrene for your patio. Larger polystyrene pieces like those obtained from big box electronic appliances or from refrigerators can serve as great raised beds for your garden. Make some tiny holes with a knife in the polystyrene pieces, and they can serve as drainage holes for different purposes in your garden.

The economic role of packaging in the service industry

Every person in the world today is affected by some form of packaging. Many people are not aware of the economic role and the value it has in the service industry, simply because they are not involved in the industry or they do not pay attention to the role the packaging has in getting the final product to them. However, without packaging, the country`s Gross Domestic Product would suffer.

Polystyrene Packaging

This is because of the fact that products cannot be shipped from the producer to the retailer and ultimately to the consumer, without proper packaging. Packaging must be designed by using specific materials, made of different sizes and shapes, and packaging materials also must be very strong to resist shocks and hazards when the product is transferred.

Packaging serves as a protection for the product, not only from transport and physical damages, but also from bacterial and microbial damages and climatic issues, like cold, moisture, heat, frost, etc. In this regard, especially relating to food products, packaging greatly reduces the waste of food. The packaging also serves as a way for identification, tracking and tracing of the product. Consumers today are well aware of the shelf life of the products and the product tractability to the manufacturer, which enables a quick product recall in case if the integrity of the product has been affected in a negative way.

Although packaging only contributes a small portion of the country`s gross domestic product and consequently of that – a small portion of waste, the packaging industry still impacts the present and the future of the planet and it has a big economic role to play. Humanity is well aware that the planet`s resources are greatly limited, so every effort counts in conserving our valuable resources.

Today, many packaging companies across the world are affiliated with the World Packaging Organisation in order to increase the economic benefits for the countries. Packaging industries are also networked through other global organisations and all work towards the same goal – to reduce, recycle, recover, and renew the packaging materials so the world economies all benefit.

At Vertapak we play our part in keeping packaging environmentally-friendly where we can and we are totally committed to the benefits of recycling.

Steps to Recycling Packing Peanuts

polystyrene packagingPink and white packing peanuts are made of polystyrene. This is a very durable material that will take centuries to decompose naturally. So, if they are not treated in the right way, packing peanuts can become a serious threat to the environment. Fortunately, there is a way to recycle or reuse packing peanuts effectively and also, to be a bit creative with them:

  1. Companies can use biodegradable packing peanuts. You can easily recognize these packing peanuts because they come in green colour and they are made from environmentally-friendly materials.
  2. It is also a good idea to reuse the packing peanuts. Simply store them in a plastic bag and use them whenever you are mailing a package.
  3. Ask businesses whether they need packing peanuts. Many businesses that ship products would like to take packing peanuts.
  4. Replace gravel in planters with packing peanuts made of polystyrene. This will give you great drainage and make the planters much easier to move and lift.
  5. Make the perfect pillow for your dog/pet. This will be a great item for any pet owner. Take a pillowcase with a zipper and stuff it with these packing peanuts. This is the perfect, comfy cushion for the pet. On top of that, these packing peanuts provide great air flow.
  6. Use packing peanuts to refill your bean bag chairs.
  7. Use them for a child’s Halloween costume. It is very easy to sew these packing peanuts and use them to create effects on your costume like toned muscles or fat bellies. You can have lots of fun with your kids creating something like this.


We hope we’ve given you some ideas!


What exactly are Polystyrene Sheets?

Polystyrene sheets are relatively thin layers of material based on polystyrene foam. In many cases, people call these sheets Styrofoam sheets, which are actually one of the most popular products based on this material. The foam is made of hydrocarbon molecules that come from petroleum. They are inserted with the help of special air pressure technique and carefully molded into sheets. The sheets have the shape and size of drywall or plywood. Polystyrene sheets deliver great insulating effects. On top of that, they also provide a good level of structural strength which makes them suitable for different applications.

There are two varieties (and many sub-varieties) of polystyrene sheets. The main difference is the process of manufacturing. First of all, there are extruded polystyrene sheets which are based on polystyrene beads. These beads are melted and inserted through a mold or metal die. The sheets are known for their dense and closed-cell structure. They are also stronger, more durable and stiffer compared to other kinds of polystyrene sheets.

The second type is expanded polystyrene sheets. These are based on polystyrene beads with inserted air and tightly pressed in forms or molds. The sheets construction is less dense compared to extruded polystyrene sheets. This means that they are not as good as XPS for structural application.

Polystyrene sheets are mostly used for building insulation. They come in the form of panels that are installed under roofing and wall cavities or sidings. The main objective is to improve thermal resistance between interior and exterior surfaces. In some cases, polystyrene sheets are used in specific building materials like insulated concrete forms and structurally insulated panels. These sheets are often used to provide protection of packages and goods during the process of shipping and to line freezers and coolers. They can also be used for creating art and as part of crafts projects.

One of the key benefits of polystyrene sheets is that they have great insulating properties, they are easy to install, inexpensive, durable and lightweight.

For more advice, please get in touch.

How to pack oversized items for shipping

According to many sellers, this is one of the most difficult issues to solve when you are selling large items. If the item you are selling doesn’t fit in a regular or even a specially designed oversized box, you should not be dismayed because there is always an alternative solution. Here are a few tips:

Protective Packaging

Firstly, start by selecting a suitable space where you can pack items. Regardless of the size and shape of the item, you should focus on creating a square box around the item. The final result will be a box that looks like a gigantic shoe box!

Measure the item and add four inches to H, W and L. The best idea is to place the item in a way in which the bottom of the item is facing the top of the box. To put it simply, keep the item upside down. After that, use Styrofoam sheets and cut these sheets so they can fill the belly of this item. Next, tape everything together and you should put a Styrofoam box around the item’s belly. Don’t tape them to the item because you could damage the finish.

After that, check whether there are gaps between the item. Make sure that the surface is flat on the bottom. If you notice voids, fill them with Styrofoam. Next, take the sheets made of Styrofoam and cut them carefully, so they can fit over the topside (the bottom). Don’t worry if the sheeting comes with gaps. The only thing that you should take care of is the extra hanging over the edges. If you leave this in place you will pay more for the shipping.

Once you are done, perform all these activities but this time with corrugated sheets. Avoid using seams at corners because the box can become unstable. Finally, focus on creating durable bottom and top lids. To reiterate, in the end, you should get a huge box that looks like a shoe box.

We hope this helps!

The advantages of polystyrene insulation

Home construction includes many different activities and installation of the right kind of insulation is one of them. In recent times, polystyrene insulation has become one of the most popular types of insulation. This is a material that doesn’t weigh too much and on top of that, it’s very easy to install polystyrene which is not the case with fiberglass. Furthermore, polystyrene insulation can be cut easily and fit in ceilings and walls. Even though its insulation properties are weaker when compared to fiberglass, the fact is that polystyrene insulation is very cheap.

Polyethylene Sheets Packaging

Insulation brings two very important things when it is installed in the right way – it keeps the heat inside the building during the winter period and vice versa – it keeps it away in summer. Fiberglass insulation is probably the most popular form of insulation, but polystyrene insulation has proven to be more beneficial. Also known as blue or pink board Styrofoam, polystyrene insulation is available in the form of relatively large square sheets that are cut with a knife for better separation.

This simple separating construction is one of the things that make polystyrene insulation efficient because it is much simpler to install these squares than fiberglass insulation. At the same time, the specific shape keeps the squares from falling and sagging.  To keep moisture away, the foam board comes with a finish that is water resistant. This means that if there is moisture inside the wall it will stay there for a long time because there is no way for this water to be vented.

Used frequently for insulating commercial and domestic properties, polystyrene insulation improves a building’s energy efficiency and studies have shown that it can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to this, polystyrene insulation is 100% recyclable and its mould- resistant properties help to improve indoor environmental quality. It is also flame retardant with no dangerous CFCs or HCFCs being a problem.

For more advice about polystyrene insulation, please contact us now.


Your essential guide to recycling polystyrene

Did you know that every year, large amounts of polystyrene (hundreds of tons) are recycled all over the United Kingdom? This practice is followed by every responsible business even though local authorities in the UK are still not providing polystyrene recycling gathering points. Polystyrene is a specific material and represents an individual, inert polymer. This means that it is very easy to manage polystyrene when it comes to gathering, processing and finally, recycling.

Polystyrene Recycling

3-R rule

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle are the three things that are crucial for reducing and processing any waste and polystyrene is no exception. Today, almost every manufacturer of polystyrene products is trying to use as little as material possible to provide the required performance. In addition, many of them are buying energy efficient machines and equipment and try to make their manufacturing process as sustainable as possible. There are many companies that are following the ISO 14001 standard too.

Besides reducing the amount of polystyrene, we can also reuse it which is a better option than recycling. So, any piece of polystyrene which was broken during the process of production are broken into even smaller pieces until the manufacturer gets beads and these can be put back into new products. Therefore, there is no waste that comes from the process of manufacturing polystyrene products. Of course, these pieces are completely clean and free of HBCD. They are usually used in insulation boards and packaging products.

Finally, the last option from the three R rule is recycling. Many people don’t know that every product based on polystyrene is completely recyclable. This means that anything from fish boxes to garden seed trays can be recycled. Of course, there are many professional recyclers who are interested in used polystyrene for recycling. The best thing is that most of them will also come to your place and collect the polystyrene for free.

The polystyrene that is used needs to be compacted because this is the only way to reduce its original size. By getting rid of the air between the materials, the size can be reduced by up to 85%. This compacted polystyrene comes in the form of relatively small blocks of hard material which is easy to transport.

For all your polystyrene packaging needs, please contact us now.


5 ways to reuse polystyrene

Polyethylene PackingDespite its many uses, polystyrene sometimes gets a bad press because it contributes to pollution, a problem that is becoming very serious these days. What is interesting about polystyrene is that experts say that polystyrene left in landfills will disintegrate only after one million years. At the same time, polystyrene recycling is difficult because it requires special procedures.


So, the only logical and practical solution is to reuse polystyrene. Luckily, this material can be reused in many different ways and here we will highlight some of the more interesting ones:

  1. Create a homemade glue

Not many people are aware of the fact that used polystyrene can be recycled at home and turned into very useful and powerful household glue. Take a relatively large quantity of polystyrene peanuts and mix them with d-Limonene/orange rind oil. By doing this, you will break down the material and get a very sticky compound that can work as superglue.

  1. Use it on your patio

Pieces of deep and moulded polystyrene acquired from big box devices can help you make raised beds which can be used on patios. If these pieces of polystyrene don’t have drainage holes, just take a craft knife and carve them.

We can all agree that they don’t look great on their own, but if you place some bedding plants or wildflowers, they will definitely enrich the space!

  1. Drainage tools for plant pots

Replace ceramic shards, gravel or pebbles with polystyrene as a drainage tool in plant pots. Simply place a layer of small pieces of polystyrene and plant your flower or another plant in the usual way. Don’t forget that polystyrene is much lighter compared to gravel or pebbles.

  1. Polystyrene modeling with your kids

Polystyrene can be used in arts and crafts activities with your kids – building model cities, robots, adding to pictures – the only limit is your imagination!

  1. Create knitting markers

You can also cut tiny forms from relatively thin polystyrene pieces and use them as knitting markers.

So there you have it. Don’t waste that polystyrene….repurpose it!

Tips on how to pack a parcel

Sending a parcel is not a complex process, but in order to avoid any accidents, then it makes sense to pack the parcel in a way which will make it safe for sending. The good news is that this procedure is simple and it doesn’t take much time and effort.

Protective Packaging


First of all, you should select the best tools for this task. There are hundreds of parcels that are damaged because the senders use inadequate materials. Some of the basic tools and equipment for packing a parcel include strong cardboard boxes, jiffy bags, quality parcel tape, strong triangular tubes and parcel straps. Don’t forget that the right size of box plays a very important role too.

Selecting the outer packaging is important, but what’s inside the package is important too. The inner packaging usually consists of polystyrene chips, bubble wraps and polyethylene foam. These materials represent an ideal material for cushioning and will keep the item in place and prevent damage. If you are sending fragile items, make sure that they are positioned in the middle of the box for maximum protection.

Using delicate materials like bags made from different fabrics is not a smart idea because the parcels can be damaged from other parcels or during transportation. The material used for this purpose must be sturdy. Packing a parcel doesn’t always mean using new packaging. However, if you are using old packaging make sure that the packaging is still sturdy and strong.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of service you use – the one that requires printed labels for your parcel or handwritten label – you must be sure that the item is labeled clearly. This label should include a description of the item and delivery address. It also makes sense to add another label inside the box in case something happens to the external label.

If possible, you should also avoid decorative packaging. Using this kind of packaging can lead to accidents. For instance, if the parcel has ribbons it can get stuck and caught by machines. In addition, decorative packaging may also increase the chances of theft.

For more advice about packaging, please contact us now.



Fantastic reuses for expanded polystyrene packaging

There are many ways you can reuse expanded polystyrene – the well-known white, soft shapes commonly found in toy boxes or boxes used for protection of electronics. By unleashing your creativity, you may be surprised by what you can do with them. Here are a few examples:

Polystyrene Packaging


To start with, you can use expanded polystyrene pieces as crocks in almost any plant pot. In order to do this, you will need to create chunks of this foam. They have proven to be especially useful for large tubs loaded with plants with shallow roots. So, you can use the lightweight, soft foam to fill the gap instead of using soil. In this way, you can relocate the pot wherever you want easily. If you are concerned about chemicals, don’t use it in pots filled with vegetables or fruit.

Creation of artwork

Obsolete expanded polystyrene can help you release your creativity and make some unique pieces of artwork. Many artists have used this material to make models or sculptures. In addition, you can use this material to support existing artwork. For instance, the flat parts are often used as poster boards to mount photos and pictures directly on walls. Those interested in wall art can use deep pieces of this special foam.

Bath toys for children or bath pillows

Find a smooth piece of this foam and use fabric that can quickly dry to cover it. The best idea is to use old swimwear or thin cotton. Once you cover it, you can enjoy your time spent on your brand new floating pillow. Use smaller pieces of expanded polystyrene and some fabric to create unique bath toys for your children.


Finally, you can use expanded polystyrene for insulation. This material contains air blocked between separate beads which make it an excellent insulator.

These are just some of the reuses of expanded polystyrene. Want to know more about how expanded polystyrene is used in the packaging industry? Please contact us now.