More Options for Styrofoam Recycling Are Essential for Sustainable Development

Recently there is a trend that people try to use paper products to replace plastic products under the situation that there is no new material that has been created to be a perfect substitute to Styrofoam. It’s no doubt that once this is realized, it will make a tremendous shock to the Styrofoam recycling industry. But it should be considered seriously that, whether paper products can play the same role as Styrofoam products. Certainly, the answer is “no”. Besides, people must admit that using substitutes for Styrofoam cannot reduce waste. Simply banning Styrofoam cannot solve those problems, looking for more options for Styrofoam recycling is essential for sustainable development.

One important issue that people need to pay attention is that Styrofoam is 100% recyclable if adopting correct methods and technologies. Actually, Styrofoam recycling is not too difficult to accomplish. From the perspective of the composition of Styrofoam, it’s a knotty problem that Styrofoam is consists of only 2% plastic but 98% air, thus the logistics are hard. But now it can be solved by a Styrofoam compactor. A Styrofoam compactor is a machine that can compress waste Styrofoam into the blocks at a high ratio of compression. Take the case of GREENMAX Styrofoam compactor, GREENMAX compactor can cut the waste Styrofoam into small pieces and then cold compact it at a ratio of 50:1 By doing that, the logistics of huge volume can be solved. Except for compactor, INTCO Recycling also provides GREENMAX Styrofoam densifier which can deal with Styrofoam with easier operation than compactor and provides a compression ratio even of 90:1.

At present, more and more countries have joined the ranks of Styrofoam recycling and achieved good results. A few years ago, the recycling rate of waste Styrofoam packaging exceeded 52% in Belgium and Norway, 47% in the Netherlands, 46% in Germany, and 38% in Italy. Even in Denmark, waste Styrofoam is effectively recycled up to 80%. How can these countries achieve that? They have found correct options to conduct Styrofoam recycling. In Spain, a project named The LIFE EPS SURE aims to provide an innovative method and a set of technical solutions to manage discarded Styrofoam fish boxes. There are many companies, organizations or even some communities that have taken action in Styrofoam recycling.

As Gornals, a purchasing officer at Spanish Styrofoam recycler Traxpo has claimed that "Simply replacing all plastic" is not a good idea. The anti-plastic movement must cool down, and too many small companies could go out of business. More importantly, it’s obvious that the Styrofoam recycling industry has grown better with more and more countries have joined and created good methods and technologies to deal with waste Styrofoam. To sum up, it can be believed that with more options for Styrofoam recycling, realizing sustainable development and less pollution is no longer a problem.