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    October 29, 2013
    EPS Industry Shows Gentle But Steady Rise in Recycling Rates

    Denver, CO— ACH Foam Technologies announced today the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) released its 2012 bi-annual recycling report, which shows a steady rise in recycling rates of expanded polystyrene. To better track EPS recycling trends, the association gathers data to reflect both post-residential and post-commercial collection streams. The 2012 results show a substantial increase in the amount of post-industrial pounds recycled based on data received from fifty-one EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers in the United States.

    Post-industrial and post-consumer EPS recycling increased from 71.3 million to 93.7 million pounds. EPS post-consumer recycling represents 50% of all post-use polystyrene recycled in the US and is one of the highest among all the plastics family. The EPS packaging recycling rate percentage continues to grow steadily.

    Mary Burk of ACH Foam Technologies thinks the next step for EPS recycling will be creating more participation among consumers.  “The push for increased involvement in take-back programs by commercial and industrial firms has made an impressive impact in EPS recycling. ACH and its partner-members in the association have worked hard to educate commercial customers about take-back programs and initiate creative ways to push the recycling rates higher. We are seeing a good result in the commercial/industrial sector, but now it’s time to elicit a higher level of awareness and increased participation from end-users that will move the post-consumer rates in the same direction,” Burk opines.

    The EPS-IA and its members have created several programs to encourage increased participation in the recycling of EPS. One is the Excellence in EPS Recycling Award, which celebrated its inaugural awards ceremony in the spring of this year. The first place award was given to Dart Container, which instituted a California curbside recycling program where more than 65 cities participated. This effort processed more than 500,000 lbs. of EPS in 2012. Dart identified equipment that made foam processing at material recovery facilities less labor intensive, less space consuming and more efficient. The company worked with reclaimers to ensure viable end-markets, and was instrumental in not only addressing waste diversion, but also in creating green jobs.

    ACH Foam Technologies was honored with its client Omaha Steaks in the honorable mention category for their efforts in helping customers find unique ways to recycle the meat coolers and connect customers with resources to send them back to ACH Foam Technologies or a local facility in their area for recycling. Also in this category, the California-based company Waste to Waves was honored for using foam waste in the production of new surfboards.  These are all creative efforts on the part of manufacturers and recyclers to maximize the recycling of EPS.

    Several other organizations were also recognized at the event for their efforts. Among these was the City of Baltimore, which recently released a marketing program to educate residents and increase awareness of their EPS recycling program. Baltimore was honored for taking an active role in decreasing EPS waste, as well as pursuing EPS educational efforts as opposed to considering foam-bans as seen in other parts of the U.S.  The other honorable mentions went to Rapac for EcoSix; Nutrisystem and partner Foam Fabricators, Inc.; Insulfoam and CLP Technologies; Styrorecycle, and Whirlpool with Sonoco Protective Solutions.

    The EPS-IA awards are meant to acknowledge companies and organizations that go above and beyond in the effort to improve and promote EPS recycling, as well as educate consumers on foam recycling.

    Read the entire 2012 Recycling Rate Report.

    About ACH Foam Technologies

    For over four decades ACH Foam Technologies has been an industry leader in EPS manufacturing, providing products for construction, geotechnical, packaging, and industrial applications. With locations throughout the U.S., ACH is positioned to offer convenient, valuable, and complete solutions for its customers. ACH recycles 100% of its post-industrial EPS and is actively involved in recycling post-consumer EPS as well.

    Contact us for more information on ACH Foam Technologies and its products and services.