2016 EPS Recycling Success

The 2016 Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Rate Study was conducted by the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) to better track EPS recycling activity. The Study gathers data to reflect both post-consumer and post-industrial streams. The 2016 results are based on data received from 45 EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers in the U.S.

Participation in the EPS recycling survey is voluntary and the reported data is based on the responses received. Many companies have limited resources to put towards participation in the survey, and some companies may choose not to respond due to their confidentiality policies. Therefore, because there is not 100 percent participation, the presented totals represent the minimum amount of EPS recovered for recycling.

The methodology for this annual report focuses on the development of a numerator and denominator figure. Recycled pounds, used as the numerator in the recycling rate equation, are based on an annual survey of post-consumer and post-commercial plastic recyclers (including EPS industry manufacturing facilities) and reflect the quantity of EPS recycled each year. Due to supply distribution chains and multiple end-use applications for EPS, a fixed number for EPS packaging generated each year is not available. Other manufacturing streams include building and construction applications, sporting goods and other durable products. As a proxy, resin sales data as reported for custom molded applications are used as the denominator in the recycling rate equations, which were provided by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Plastics Industry Producers’ Statistics Group. ACC reports are compiled from primary data reported by resin producers to the professional services firm of Veris Consulting, LCC. This does not account for non-U.S. resin sales which may offset the quantities reported by U.S. resin suppliers sold into custom molding facilities for non-packaging applications.

Read the 2016 Recycling Rate Report.

Post-consumer is defined as any material that is recycled after its intended end-use while post-industrial recovery includes EPS facility scrap that is recycled but never served its intended purpose as a packaging material or other end-use application.

Read the 2016 Recycling Rate Report.