The materials we use, produce and discard are of a growing concern in the world today, and having a major impact on our planet, on land, the sea and in particular the ozone layer. The build-up of gases in the ozone layer is causing our planet to get hotter, and this is causing weather changes and worsening environmental conditions.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is an excellent natural material that has far less of an impact in the environment than other competitive materials used for the same purpose.
EPS does not contain any CFC’s (chlorofluorocarbons) or HCFC’s (hydro chlorofluorocarbons). Also no CFC’s or HCFC’s are used while manufacturing the product (these gases diminish the ozone layer). Very little energy is needed during the transformation. In addition, these gases are not emitted during the burning of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Expanded Polystyrene does not generate any risk to the health of the workers, nor any risk to the environment during its use.
Expanded Polystyrene is 95% air. Only a very small percent is actually material. This very light but strong material therefore has a very low carbon footprint. Being very light means when transporting goods in Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) containers, greatly reduces fuel consumption compared to other heavier packaging materials like wood or metal.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is now widely used in the construction, packaging, agricultural and art & décor industries. It is particularly used in the construction industry for thermal insulation, meaning significant savings on heating and cooling of buildings, thereby reducing the emission of polluting gases. It therefore helps in alleviating the greenhouse effect and acid rain.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is fully 100% recyclable, unlike most other materials. It can be reused in the manufacture of new EPS, added to other building materials, or for auxiliary compost material for soil improvement or by granulation or fusion turned into other products for further human use. More and more Expanded Polystyrene is being recycled around the world. It is a single polymer so recycling is not difficult, and there are a wide variety of products it can be turned into, including garden furniture, disposable cameras and simple things like coat hangers. Pentane is used as the blowing agent that has a low GWP (Global Warming Potential) of less than 5.
When being burnt the amount of CO (carbon monoxide) emitted is a fraction of that from the burning of wood or cardboard. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is inert and innocuous and does not biodegrade and leach chemicals into the water system or gases into the air that could contribute to global warming.
The manufacturing process for Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is very low pollution as it uses water (steam) as the main ingredient, and it is continually reused. There is also no waste as any broken pieces or rejected produce are just reused also. As it is mostly air only a very small amount of oil consumption is necessary to produce all the Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) used. It is only 0.1%.