EUMEPS has submitted a voluntary pledge to demonstrate industry commitment to full circularity of our products
Current recycling initiatives will be accelerated and extended to ensure circularity aligned with EU objectives by 2030.
EUMEPS EU Voluntary Pledge ( PDF, 161.45 kB)
EUMEPS Presentation "Circular Economy for EPS" at GIC ( PDF, 992.7 kB)
Unlike the main competitive insulation materials, polystyrene is easily recycled. Since EPS does not degrade or deteriorate, it can be recycled in several ways at the end of its useful lifetime:
- Added back into new EPS insulation boards.
- Grinded and mixed with concrete to produce prefabricated light weight concrete. Adding reground EPS waste is resource efficient as it replaces manufactured EPS beads.
- Extruded and moulded into new EPS and XPS raw material or products such as coat hangars, flower pots, park benches or fence posts.
- Dissolved and transferred into granulated polymer. This process is based on the CreaSolv® Technology. An industrial scale demonstration plant is being built in the Netherlands (see PolyStyreneLoop).
EPS is collected through a Europe-wide network of collection points, organised both by local authorities and commercial enterprises. Recycling saves money, energy and reduces the impact on the environment. In most EU countries, EPS is not considered waste, but a valuable resource. Producers of EPS have used integrated chain management principles for decades.
Incineration and Energy Recovery
Incineration is a waste treatment process that includes the combustion of organic substances contained in the waste materials. Non-toxic ashes remain after the process. Recovering EPS energetically for heating purposes helps to save fossil resources: 1 kg of incinerated EPS replaces 1,3 liters heating fuel.