Recycling of post-consumer and post-commercial expanded polystyrene hit an all-time high of 34 percent in 2013, according to a new report.
Released by the EPS Industry Alliance, the report shows that 72.8 million pounds of post-consumer and post-commercial material was recycled in 2013.
“Despite ongoing misperceptions about its recyclability, EPS recycling is well established and consistently maintains on one of the highest recycling rates among all plastics,” the alliance said in a statement.
The 34-percent recycling rate for post-consumer and post-commercial EPS also stacks up against a nationwide municipal solid waste recycling rate 34.5 percent in 2012.
A total of 127.3 million pounds of EPS was recycled in 2013 in the United States when 54.5 million pounds of the material from post-industrial sources are included in the total, the alliance reported.
That 54.5 million pound figure, however, represents a drop from 56.9 million pounds in 2012, the group said.
“While EPS is often characterized as difficult to recycle, the sharp increase in post-consumer and post-commercial EPS recycling from 2012 to 2013 clearly demonstrates that active involvement from the general public and small and large companies, can move the needle in the right direction,” the Crofton, Md.-based alliance said.
Data for report, available at www.epsindustry.org, comes from 41 EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers.