Polystyrene is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, construction, decoration, etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties.
Despite the attractiveness of polystyrene, many companies are facing a growing problem in disposal of polystyrene packaging and products. Being large and bulky, polystyrene take up significant space in rubbish bins which means that bins becomes full more quickly and therefore needs to be emptied more often. Polystyrene is lightweight compared to its volume so it occupies lots of precious landfill space and can be blown around and cause a nuisance in the surrounding areas.
Although some companies have a recycling policy, most of the polystyrene still find its way into landfill sites around the world. As per conservative estimates, hundreds of thousands of tons of waste polystyrene is produced in the Middle East and sent to landfills each year.
Recycling ProcesS & Methods
At Styrene Insulation Industry we recycle polystyrene three methods:
Polystyrene is made up of 98% air and no harmful CFC gases which makes it an ideal material for recycling.
Polystyrene recycling does not only help the environment but it also ensures that we use our products in the most efficient way.
The EPS can be put into the foam shredder. The machine will grind the foam pieces and will turn them into small beads about 5-10mm in diameter. Shredding the foam will not only make the recycling process easy, but will also greatly reduce the transport cost, and become a recyclable commodity of high value. Another great benefit for shredding EPS is that the foam beads can be reused as filler to cushions, bean bags, toys, stuffed animals and beanie babies. These broken waste materials can be mixedwith the new beads before moulding to male blocks. Our granulating machines reduce off-cuts of EPS into regrind beads that are dosed with virgin from 1 to 5% according to the quality of final products.
The segregated EPS foam products are fed to a compactor in order to reduce its volume. The volume can be reduced up to 98%.The scrap foam pieces are placed into a compactor that will compress and press it, squeezing out the excess air. The end result is foam logs that can be stacked on top of each other. After compacting the foam it can be re-melt to make pellets for the application of injection molded parts. Compaction of foam is especially beneficial in cases where there is a need to transport it to a recycling and reuse facility. The transportation of the logs is cost effective and easy due to its light weight. The logs can be cut to the desired length, so that they can be placed easily into a pellet. Storing the logs on site is also easy and does not take up a lot of space. Using a compactor can reduce the volume down to one-fortieth of the original size of the foam.
Compacting granulated materials into bricks which are then sent on to a recycling depot to be used in creating new products such as plant pots, picture frames and garden furniture.
As it is easy to recycle, EPS is a very durable and flexible material which can be used efficiently by the consumer and still remain environmentally friendly.
The flakes are forced through pelletizing extruders where they are heated and melted, then allowed to cool in order to solidify. Color may be added in between the process. The resulting material can then be used, through reheating and melting, to produce clothes hangers, picture frames, DVD cases and numerous other plastic products.