With many businesses looking for ways to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly, it is important to consider the impact of any packaging used to ship out goods. What’s more, customers are becoming increasingly savvy when it comes to recycling and expect companies to follow suit.
However, there is a misconception when it comes to expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging. In our throwaway culture, when people see discarded takeaway containers or abandoned polystyrene boxes, they assume the problem is with the material, and not the behaviour of consumers.
From packaging to insulation, the fact is that the material has many uses.
Yes, it may be slow to biodegrade, but that doesn’t mean it’s not 100% recyclable – because it is.
The local picture
Some councils even accept EPS with other recycling – with about 100 tonnes processed every month in the UK. Before putting it in your recycling bin, however, it’s best to check with your local authority first.
Worldwide, there is less of a desire to recycle EPS, although that doesn’t mean there won’t be a shift in attitudes in the future. Indeed, expanded polystyrene that has been used can be reformed into other useful products including:
- Park benches
- Garden furniture
- Picture frames
In addition, EPS is made up of 98% air and releases no harmful CFC (Chlorofluorocarbons) gases.
Other uses for EPS
Polystyrene is a highly effective insulator. Precisely because of its insulating properties, it is the packaging material of choice when it comes to transporting products which need to be kept at a stable temperature such as food or medicines.
If you can’t recycle your packaging, you could always repurpose it yourself. Consider breaking it up and using it as drainage at the bottom of plant pots, using it as a seed tray or incorporating it into an arts and crafts project with a little one.
Alternatively – and because of the very reasons outlined above – you could use a polystyrene box to keep picnics cool on a hot summer day.
Here at Vertapak, we recycle by mixing old beads with new beads before these are moulded into blocks or by compacting granulated materials into bricks. These are then sent to a recycling depot where they are made into new products, to be used and enjoyed all over again.
If you would like to make an enquiry about using polystyrene packaging in your business, contact Vertapak on 01384 457730.