There are four main waste reduction options for foam packaging:
1. Reduce – refers to the reduction of natural resources used. By optimising pack design, moulders can reduce foam usage, thus reducing environmental burden and cost.
2. Re-Use – Foam packaging can be re-used as multi-trip packaging, e.g. for the internal transport of partially assembled goods. Another simple re-use of the packaging is to grind it and use it as soil conditioner to improve drainage and aeration. Foam seed and pot-holding trays are often re-used in this way at garden centers.
3. Recycle – is the reprocessing of used foam packaging to make a new material such as hardwood replacement for making garden furniture, slate replacement for roofing tiles and new plastics items such as coat hangers, CD and video cases
4. Recover – Foam has a very high calorific value, higher than that of coal, and can be safely burnt within energy recovery units, or incinerators, without giving off toxic or environmentally damaging fumes.