EPS—expandable polystyrene foam. Companies use it to protect products during shipping. You’ve probably unpacked a lot of it over the years, especially when opening the box from an electronics delivery or for a new household appliance.
You’ve probably also heard that EPS can’t be recycled. But this is not true. Just because a type of plastic isn’t eligible for your curbside bin doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled. According to Chad Revolt, Facility Operations Specialist at Epsilyte, who handles a lot of EPS, “I know recycling is real, because I see it every day.”
Plastics preserve lives
Our latest Recycling is Real video takes us to Epsilyte’s plant in Piqua, Ohio, where recycled EPS plays an important role in a mission that Chief Sustainability Officer, Jon Timbers, describes as “carbon neutral operations, carbon favorable products, and putting those into life sustaining applications.”
‘Life sustaining’ is meant to be taken very literally, as Epsilyte uses EPS to help people protect themselves from injury. “The products we make here are primarily for bicycle helmets,” said Amy Kozak, Quality Assurance Manager. “We make the feedstock. We make the finished products. We are trying to expand and use more recycled material all the time.”
The goal is to do more
Better access to broader recycling operations and infrastructure can help companies like Epsilyte obtain and use more and more recycled material. Jon Timbers described the ideal situation when he said, “Together, we all need to reduce our consumption. We need to reuse our plastic articles. And when it comes to the end of life, then we need to recycle them. And it requires everyone to participate.”
The ability to understand that we can recycle ever greater amounts of a broader range of plastics is one of the goals of Recycling is Real. Share our videos with your elected officials and help them better understand the benefits of plastic and recycling. Recycling is Real – See for yourself.