Foam is recycled and provides environmental benefits compared to spring mattress units. Many materials are difficult to recycle. Some simply don’t produce a valuable recycled material. Others are difficult to collect and transport. But, flexible polyurethane foam is now being recycled and providing environmental benefits.
Up to 30 percent of all foam can become scrap after cutting and shaping foam in product fabrication. Without recycling this would be a costly disposal problem for foam manufacturers. However, with the development of practical end uses for scrap foam, almost every piece of scrap is recyclable. Continue reading
There is a new foam recycling project in place in Montreal this summer.
Foam, also known as polystyrene, is not recycable in most of North America. Because it is very light — 90 per cent of it is air — at this time, it’s hard to make money recycling it. In fact, in 2009, only 11 per cent of Quebec households had access to recycling programs that accepted it.
But Quebec’s Centre is trying to figure out a way to increase that number. So until August 31, people living in the Montreal area can take their foam to be recycled in Montreal’s South West borough. Continue reading
Not all materials are well suited for recycling. Post-consumer foam packaging must be clean and free of tape, film and cardboard. Expanded polystyrene made with a fire retardant additive, typically used in the manufacture of foam building insulation, requires special reprocessing conditions. To enhance collection efforts and maximize the investment in recycling equipment, AFPR recycling locations concentrate on large volume, commercial sources of post-consumer foam. Some locations also offer consumer drop-off access.
Foam is renowned for its superior performance properties, which makes it one of the most efficient packaging materials available. It’s light weight reduces fuel and shipping costs while its insulating and cushioning properties protect both agricultural perishables and durable goods during transit.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is relied upon to provide superior performance in various foam product applications. Foam is being used in thousands of different ways by individuals and businesses around the world, EPS is serving an important role in our everyday lives. Whether used as protective packaging for fragile items during shipment, as custom insulation in building applications or even as a bicycle helmet.
- EPS meets five of the criteria for sustainable packaging based on the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s definitions.
- The 2010 EPS Recycling Rate Report shows that over 71 million pounds of EPS were recycled, including 37.1 million pounds of post-consumer packaging and 34.2 million pounds of post-industrial packaging.
- In 2010, more than 50% of all EPS collected for recycling was used to make recycled-content packaging.
- EPS is made of 98% air and is an inert material without harmful chemicals that off-gas or leach during its use of disposal.
- EPS represents less than 1% of the total municipal solid waste stream by weight and volume.
Available in a variety of custom-molded shapes, EPS containers are water resistant and hygienic with high thermal-insulating properties. Which is what makes it a common choice for shipping food throughout the world.