Recycling Polystyrene - Is it as hard as it seems?
In the UK, Polystyrene is one of the most common forms of plastic around, being frequently used in packaging, insulation and even in obscure ways like bean bag and children's toy stuffing. The construction and logistics industries are by far the biggest users of Polystyrene, but often it is small businesses who eventually have to dispose of it, with landfill seemingly the only option.
Polystyrene doesn't need to be disposed of though; with Polystyrene baling equipment, Polystyrene can be broken up, squashed and reformed into briquettes that can be sold on and re-purposed. This information is not well taught though, with most local waste authorities advising polystyrene being disposed of with general waste!
The reasoning behind Polystyrene being disposed of with general waste is that often it has been contaminated by food or drink, making it harder to recycle. Despite being so light, it's bulky and awkward to collect and transport. Putting Polystyrene out for recycling is also a big risk, with its light properties making it highly likely to blow away.
Virgin Polystrene, and not recycled Polystyrene, is often used for food and drinks purposes because of concerns about hygiene. Recycling Polystyrene into briquettes makes it more viable for the construction industry, who can use the recycled Polystrene's impressive insulation attributes in housing. For the purposes of bouyancy, like life jackets and small rafts, recycled Polystyrene is ideal.
For the logistics industry, recycled Polystyrene in both moulded and loose form can be beneficial for deliveries; when moulded, it can protect delicate items closely, but when loose it can be used to fill the air pockets that may cause an item to move around. Recycling Polystyrene allows these industries to re-use the material after its first life span, helping it become something purposeful and reducing the need for virgin plastic.
For an example of a UK business finding great success with a polystyrene baler, have a look at this case study. Is recycling polystyrene an issue for you? Call one of our account managers today for a solution!