March 8, 2019

What happens to polystyrene packaging when thrown away?


What happens to polystyrene packaging when thrown away? (It’s Most Likely Sitting in a Landfill)


What happens to polystyrene packaging when thrown away? So let’s clear up a couple of things right away. That white foam packaging material that keeps your electronics from sliding around in the box? That’s not actually Styrofoam. It’s EPS, which is shorthand for expanded polystyrene. Styrofoam™ is a trademarked extruded foam insulation product created by Dow Chemical. It’s dyed a light blue color so that it’s easily identifiable. But as time often does, genericization has turned EPS into “Styrofoam.” As anyone who’s had to use a Band-Aid after dropping a bowl of Jell-O on their foot can tell you…where were we going with this?


Expanded polystyrene facts

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the ubiquitous packaging material that also makes up packing peanuts, disposable food containers and beverage cups…and unfortunately, about ONE-THIRD of all the content in our landfills! That’s right, according to American Disposal Services, EPS makes up more than 30% of the total volume of landfill products! And while EPS can be recycled, money often dictates that it doesn’t get recycled. Because EPS is so lightweight, it’s simply not profitable enough for landfills and recycling centers to go through the trouble of actually recycling it.


Feeling bad about that Amazon addiction yet?

Alas, there is change on the horizon! Many local municipalities like New York City, San Francisco, and Washington DC have enacted bans of single-use EPS products like plates, cups and to-go containers. Meanwhile, eco-friendly packaging solutions are being developed from all sorts of unexpected organic sources like mushrooms, hemp fiber, and even shellfish.

EPE has spent years discovering, testing and fine-tuning the ideal package that protects its contents while also making sure to protect the environment. When re-designing a product package, we source materials that are sustainable and 100% recyclable. We develop packaging solutions like EP3 to take out as much packaging material as possible. And we achieve this by providing the exact amount of protection your product requires to be safely transited to your customers. We’ve simultaneously discovered ways to fit more shipments per pallet, which results in lower costs throughout the entire supply chain!


Here at EPE

We use data to find you the perfect package. Our team finds opportunities to optimize your product packaging for any transit mode, to ensure you’re getting the most out of your freight costs, all while not contributing any more EPS to our landfills. What more can you ask for from your packaging partners? Well actually, we also test your product packaging to ensure it’s ISTA compliant, and we provide JIT, and…well just talk to one of our account reps and let us show you how we can create the ideal packaging for you!