Can You Recycle Polystyrene?

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

The short answer is yes, you can recycle polystyrene and it can be relatively easy if you are a business.


The difficulty with polystyrene is that it's very voluminous and so to recycle the material in its usual form that we are all used to, proves very expensive due predominantly to the cost of transport and lack of facilities processing the material.


If your site or organisation produces relatively consistent volumes of polystyrene then the best option is more than likely to look at a briquette machine. To understand the full process please watch the brief video below which shows the conversion from bulky, weightless material, to dense briquettes weighing 700kg/m3, allowing for 1 pallet to easily hold around a tonne of material.

You are probably now saying, this all looks rather impressive but what am I supposed to do with a 1 tonne pallet of polystyrene?! well, from here it gets even more intriguing!


For every pallet of briquettes you can be looking at a payment up to £350.00. The more you produce, the quicker the return on investment and contribution to your businesses bottom line.


Expanded Polystyrene is a commodity and whilst it is widely perceived to not be recyclable, this is in fact not true. The perception normally comes from what we are told about household recycling, because households neither produce the volume to recycle or have the storage capacity and equipment capability to prepare the material for purchase. Any polystyrene disposed of is spoiled by other household waste materials.


Both dry EPS and wet fish box polystyrene can be recycled, including more specialist Styrofoams including EPE (which you will regularly find protecting your purchases, electronics etc.), XPS, PUR, EPP and PSP.


If you are a manufacturer, distributor or food retailer then you may be spending a fortune disposing of your Styrofoams.


I hope this brief article was of interest and supports with widening the awareness of recycling and should your business require any support with its waste and commodities, please don't hesitate to contact us for support.


If you want to look at options for recycling polystyrene and obtain the best rates, contact james@compactandbale.com for assistance.

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