EPS recycling is helpful to the environment. Experts calculated that it takes 500 years to decompose polystyrene naturally. Many tons of EPS material are found in landfills each year despite having a recycling policy. You can see the recycling triangle symbol on some EPS products. Polystyrene consists of 98% of air, and no harmful CFC gases are liberated when burnt. This says that recycling of the material is possible, but most recycling facilities never accept the material.
Due to the porosity of EPS when it is used for packing drinks or any other organic substances, it becomes difficult to clean. The organic matter contaminates the recyclable material and makes them unusable sometimes.
EPS is the material that has a fair amount of air spaces between the beads. Storing, purchasing or shipping polystyrene is not a good idea. It occupies a larger area. You can call a nearby recycling center and enquire whether they accept polystyrene material or #6 plastics and let them collect it from you.
Styrene Insulation Industry (SII) is committed to Recycling polystyrene in UAE. The standard procedures to recycle EPS are Shredding, Compacting, and Melting.
After shredding, the small beads generated are used in cushions, toys, stuffed animals, and bean bags. Compacting is the process through which the excess air is removed from the foam blocks. This process makes it easier to store the blocks or transport them. Melting can produce pellets of the material which can later be heated and colors are added to generate hangers, DVD cases, and many other plastic products.
It has excellent benefits in the construction and packing industries. You observe this material in making single-use coffee cups and food trays. It got wired so deeply into our day-to-day lives so that we cannot avoid its usage.
Instead of polystyrene recycling, we can think of reusing it in everyday life. Surprisingly, we can use it in our surroundings for various purposes. We brought you some exciting ways to reuse polystyrene instead of trashing it.
1) Packaging Material
Most of the time, you get polystyrene as a packaging material to prevent damage to the goods. You can continue using that in the very same way. When you plan to shift to a new location, polystyrene will be your best option to pack electronic goods and delicate items. You can ship breakables to your dear ones without any damage. Packers and movers or shipping companies always look for this material. So you can donate it to those companies.
2) Super Glue
You may be one of the very few to know this fact. You can avoid buying glue and make super glue at your home with polystyrene. Put all the polystyrene beads into the glue bottle and pour d-Limonene, which is orange rind oil. The ingredients present in the oil slowly digest the polystyrene material and becomes sticky. The sticky substance can be further used as super glue.
3) Set Property
Polystyrene can help enhance the experience of plays or visual arts. You can make objects which are useful on the stage plays as a set property. Polystyrene is a water-resistant material, so you can even cut it and make it as a palette to mix the colors.
4) Stuffing Material
Suppose you find sagging pillows in your home and wanted to stuff them. You no need to buy anything for loading it. All you need is polystyrene. You can use polystyrene to fill the sofas which lost foam.
5) Insulating Material
You want to keep the cool drinks cool while traveling. Take a polystyrene box, fill it with ice, and then place the drinks in the box. As polystyrene is an excellent insulating material, it prevents the exchange of heat with the surroundings. Thus the drinks are maintained at low temperature.
6) Make your home green
You wanted to grow some non-edible or decorative plants in the home. Look for some seedling starters. They may be just around you. Look with keen eyes you may find the trays or cups which are used. Make some draining holes at the bottom, put some potting soil in them, and sow the plant seeds you want to grow. Place the set up in the sunshine for few days you can see the germination of the seeds. After some growth is observed, shift the plants to the larger pots or containers.
7) Drainage for potted plants
Generally, we use pebbles or gravel as a drainage system for the potted plants. At the bottom of the pot, you fill it with polystyrene pieces instead of stones, making the pot lighter. After that, you need to ensure that at least six inches of the pot are filled with soil. Later you can plant the sapling in the soil. Remember, you can use polystyrene only in the case of non-edible plants.
8) Ice cream cone holder
To prepare more ice cream cones at a time, a standard block of polystyrene is helpful. Consider a hard block of polystyrene that is flat and can fit into the refrigerator. Make holes into the block so that each hole can hold a cone. This way, you can prepare more ice cream cones for a party or a treat.
9) Floating tray
Due to the lightweight properties of polystyrene, it can float on the water. Take a hard block of polystyrene from the packaging of any heavy electronic item. With a sharp knife or blade, turn the block into the shape of the tray. You can use the tray while you are relaxing in the pool. Based on the size of the tray you make, it can hold some snacks and drinks. It becomes your soda can holder in the pool.
You can prepare a vermicompost pit in your home for your small-scale garden usage. Take a polystyrene box and cover it internally with a plastic cover to avoid leaching. The setup can be used as indoor vermicomposting.
Reuse and Recycle are the two most important steps among 4R’s principles. Whatever the product is before trashing it if we can give a thought to recycling or reusing it. We can commit ourselves to save mother earth.