EPS is an excellent insulation to enclose close storage space used to cool and store food, flowers and other commodities at temperatures ranging from normal room temperature (68°C) down to cryogenic temperatures ( - 148°C ). EPS is well suited for this type of insulation because of its excellent thermal resistance, its low permeability to water vapor and air, low absorption of water, dimensional stability, chemical inertness and durability, lack of odor and vermin resistance.
EPS is also used to insulate containers that hold cold liquids or gases pipes and vessels in cold environments such as utility and sewer lines.
Strength, insulation properties, light weight and superior cushioning are all characteristics most people associate with EPS. What's equally impressive are the ways EPS and the companies that use it are contributing to environmental quality.
EPS itself is a non- reactive material, manufactured without CFCs or HCFCs. And with the continued progress being made in reuse, recycling and source reduction, EPS is becoming an even more attractive alternative for packaging and other applications.
The Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers, established in 1991, is committed to EPS waste minimization through the promotion of an industry- wide infrastructure to collect and recycle post- consumer EPS. Today, products manufactured using EPS actually constitute less than 1% of municipal solid waste tonnage. With nearly 50 member companies, the AFPR is dedicated to long term solid waste solutions for EPS waste disposal. Today, through the Alliance's efforts and other programs, there are over 250 collection sites available for post- consumer EPS. Additional recycling opportunities exist for postindustrial and rigid durable polystyrene recycling. During 1996, all of these facilities recycled a total of 54 million pounds of polystyrene. Over the past four years, EPS recycling has maintained an average 10% recycling rate.
Some molders, have been just as committed to create products which can be re- used, saving money and further contributing to environmental quality. In addition, innovative design techniques are contributing to source reduction efforts, lessening the need for raw materials, reducing landfill requirements and lowering product costs for manufacturers and consumers. Between 1974 and 1994, the amount of EPS packaging and disposables diverted from the waste stream through source reduction increased more than 20- fold, eliminating more than 800,000 tons of EPS.
Strength, light weight, insulation and environmental awareness - together, they make EPS the world's best choice for packaging and other applications. Recycling is carried out through global cooperation.