The Environmental Hazards of Polystyrene Foam and the Necessity of EPS Compactors

The widespread use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) brings convenience to our lives, but its environmental hazards are becoming a growing concern. EPS is difficult to degrade, posing serious threats to the natural environment and biological health. In recent years, governments and recycling associations have been actively promoting EPS recycling, with EPS compactors playing a key role in this process.

EPS Compactors application

Environmental Hazards of Expanded Polystyrene

Non-degradability
EPS is a material that is difficult to degrade, potentially taking hundreds of years to fully break down in the natural environment. If not properly managed, these wastes occupy significant landfill space, wasting valuable land resources. According to data from 2023, approximately 14 million tons of EPS waste is generated globally each year, with less than 10% being effectively recycled.

Biological Threats
The lightweight and buoyant nature of EPS makes it easy for wind to carry it into water bodies, leading to marine pollution. Marine animals such as seabirds and turtles often mistake these plastics for food, resulting in digestive issues or even death. A 2022 study found that about 90% of seabirds and 50% of turtles globally had plastic fragments in their bodies, with EPS making up a substantial portion.

Release of Harmful Substances
EPS releases harmful substances such as styrene monomer during its manufacturing and use. This chemical is potentially carcinogenic and prolonged exposure can pose serious health risks. Additionally, burning EPS releases toxic smoke and gases, compromising air quality and human health.

Specific Measures to Promote EPS Recycling

Government and Community Efforts
Government agencies acknowledge that completely banning EPS use is impractical, thus they are intensifying efforts to encourage EPS recycling. For example, the Maple Ridge community has improved residents’ recycling awareness through the efforts of their recycling association. Recycling Association Chairman Glenn Ship noted that while recycling is not an overnight achievement, increasing awareness has led to more EPS waste reaching recycling centers instead of littering streets.

Governments and recycling associations also encourage residents to reduce the use of single-use plastics and organize community trips to waste collection stations. Residents believe their small contributions can significantly aid in EPS recycling, driving the success of these initiatives.

Improvements at Recycling Centers

Recycling centers should properly handle EPS, as this non-degradable material poses environmental hazards. Although many centers cannot recycle EPS packaging from residents or industrial production, an increasing number of waste management companies have launched EPS recycling programs to protect the environment and promote economic sustainability. Using EPS compactors can reduce the volume of waste sent to landfills by about 80%.

The Necessity of EPS Compactors

Increasing Recycling Efficiency
EPS compactors compress loose EPS waste into dense blocks, significantly reducing its volume. By using EPS compactors, the volume of EPS waste can be reduced to 1/30 to 1/50 of its original size. This not only lowers storage and transportation costs but also enhances recycling efficiency, making EPS waste easier to recycle and reuse.

Promoting a Circular Economy

Using EPS compactors allows the recycled material to be used in producing new foam products, achieving resource recycling. Recycling one ton of EPS waste can save approximately 700 liters of oil. This not only reduces dependence on raw materials but also mitigates the environmental impact of waste.

CF-CP250-EPS-Cold-Compactor Machinery

QINFENG

We recommend Qinfeng cf-cp250 cold EPS Compactor
Qinfeng machinery’s CF-CP250 EPS foam cold press can reduce the size of EPS foam material, compression ratio can reach 1:30-1:50. After the initial compaction process, the material density usually changes from 30 kg/m3 to 250 kg/m3, becoming high-quality recyclable plastic particles. This EPS foam cold press is mainly used to deal with EPS, EPE, PUR, EVA, waste paper and so on. Through the continuous improvement of EPS foam compressor, it has achieved a superior stable performance. To protect the environment and achieve a virtuous circle of economy.

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