Can EPS be recycled? YES, Absolutely!

By: Chris Benson, Packaging Specialist

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) can and has been recycled for over 25 years! Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation regarding EPS and it is a battle to get the truth out to businesses and consumers. 118 million pounds of EPS foam was recycled in 2016. This very large number can be broken down intro two categories: Post-Consumer and Post-Industrial Recovery. Post consumer is defined as any material that is recycled after its intended end-use; 63 million pounds recycled in 2016. Post-industrial recovery includes EPS facility scrap that is recycled but never served its intended purpose as a packaging material or other end-use application; 55.7 million pounds recycled in 2016.

2016 post consumer post insustrial

What ACH Foam can recycle:

#6 Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam that is white, clean, dry and free of debris. This includes items such as insulated coolers and protective packaging for electronics, household goods and toys.

What ACH Foam CANNOT recycle:

Food service containers such as foam plates, takeout containers, meat trays, egg cartons, packaging peanuts and any non-EPS type foam.

How to recycle EPS with ACH Foam:

1. EPS Foam material for recycling must be bagged, bundled, boxed, or banded for internal handling at ACH Foam Technologies

2. Mail back or drop off at any ACH Foam Technologies plant location. Contact local plant to confirm hours of operation and plant-specific recycling details.

3. Utilize the mail-back program through the EPS Industry Alliance: www.epspackaging.org.

4. Peanut (loosefill) recycling- call 800-828-2214 or visist www.loosefillpackaging.com.   Many UPS stores will take the loosefill for recycling!

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