The Banning of Polystyrene Foam

If you read today’s BBC website then you may have come across this article. It tells of a City’s reluctance to accept foam as a sustainable product for disposable packaging and landfills. The basic problem with foam is that you just can't recycle it or upcycle it making it a problematic product that lingers forever. 

To quote the BBC article:

New York City is joining a growing group of cities in banning Expandable Polystyrene Foam (EPS). Adam Harris explains what makes this material so worrisome to environmentalists - and appealing to businesses.


Starting today, single-use EPS products including cups, bowls, plates, take-out containers and trays and packing peanuts are not allowed to be possessed, sold, or offered in New York City. Companies have six months to comply or face a fine.

"These products cause real environmental harm and have no place in New York City. We have better options," said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in a release about the ban.

So why has EPS come under fire? And what is it, exactly? Here's a quick guide to this long-lasting material.

What is EPS anyway?

Marketed in the US under the name Styrofoam, EPS was invented by Dow Chemical scientist Otis Ray McIntire in 1941.

To make it, small beads of the polymer polystyrene are steamed with chemicals until they expanded to 50 times their original volume. After cooling and settling, the pre-expanded beads are then blown into a mould - such as that of a drink cup or cooler - and steamed again, expanding further, until the mould is completely filled and all of the beads have fused together.

What is EPS anyway?

Marketed in the US under the name Styrofoam, EPS was invented by Dow Chemical scientist Otis Ray McIntire in 1941.

To make it, small beads of the polymer polystyrene are steamed with chemicals until they expanded to 50 times their original volume. After cooling and settling, the pre-expanded beads are then blown into a mould - such as that of a drink cup or cooler - and steamed again, expanding further, until the mould is completely filled and all of the beads have fused together.

So now that NYC has set a precedent with foam products being outlawed over the next 6 months, other areas and locations are expected to follow.

Viable alternative to foam such as paper products, sugarcane pulp and other renewable's are offering the disposable packaging market a plethora of new biodegradable products that are very much 2 and generation products that are only marginally more expensive than foam.

To find these products visit our website https://www.packagingpro.com.au/Eco-Friendly


Article credit : http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33334994