The Environmental Benefits of Polystyrene Packaging

The Environmental Benefits of Polystyrene Packaging

Polystyrene (PS) has a wide range of uses, including packaging, medical products, appliances and electronic products. Polystyrene also offers a reliable and affordable packaging option with multiple safety and protection benefits for retailers, producers, and transport services.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is commonly used in protective packaging for food products and other goods and appliances  – trays, boxes, cups. Any product of any shape or size can be packaged in expanded polystyrene.

However, a less known fact is that polystyrene, considered a number 6 plastic type in South Africa, can also be recycled and re-used for different applications.

Once recycled and reprocessed, the polystyrene product can be remoulded into another packaging product instead of being discarded in the landfill. The polystyrene is collected, treated, taken to a factory, broken down or melted and used to make new products.

Furthermore, expanded polystyrene is made from expandable polystyrene, which is a rigid cellular plastic containing an expansion agent. Only about 5% of the packaging foam is polystyrene, the rest being air. It makes packaging foam ideal for recycling.

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) manufactured by the Isowall Group is fast becoming recognized as the insulation material of choice by specifiers of “Bills of Quantities”. This comes largely as a result of our technical knowledge backed up by years of experience in the building and construction industry.

Polystyrene can be recycled up to 20 times without any damage to its physical properties, retaining its strength and durability, and helping conserving energy, reducing pollution, freeing up landfill space and managing littering problems.

The inclusion of plastic, including polystyrene, in waste and energy management, can also increase the demand for clean-burn technology – since polystyrene has a high caloric value to generate safe energy from waste.

According to South Africa’s Polystyrene Packaging Council (PSPC), polystyrene packaging can be integrated more responsibly and safely into the local economy through active recycling and educational initiatives about its properties and benefits.

The recycling of polystyrene is within everyone’s reach – just as with glass, paper and other types of plastics. Contact the Polystyrene Packaging Council for more information on polystyrene packaging in South Africa.

The Isowall Group has been manufacturing and distributing Isolite Shape Moulded EPS since 1992. Isolite EPS products are used primarily for insulation, lightweight fillers and semi-rigid cushioning. 


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