COLLECTION OPTIONS & RESOURCES
Not everything can be recycled all the time. In order for materials to be recycled, you need stable markets and a demand for the end products. Each province and community has its own guidelines for which plastics are accepted, and these can vary. To find out if EPS recycling is available in your area, visit www.epsindustry.org. For consumers that do not have access to a local drop-off center, the EPS-IA sponsors a Mail-Back Program intended for smaller quantities of EPS which can be mailed via Canada Post (or other carrier) to more than 30 U.S. locations. Full instructions and a list of Mail-Back locations are available on the EPS-IA website.
Post-Use: 378 000 kilograms (378 tonnes)
Post-Industrial: 3 500 000 kilograms (3,500 tonnes)
The figures from 2011 through 2017 reference data from the Canadian Plastics Industry Association’s (CPIA) annual Post-Consumer Plastics Recycling in Canada Report. The 2018 & 2019 Canadian EPS Recycling Reports were conducted by the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) & reflects both post-use and post-industrial expanded polystyrene recycling.
In 2019, EPS recycling trended upward as a result of expanded collection programs and major advancements in reprocessing technologies. This includes pyrolysis, a recycling process that can convert EPS waste into new polystyrene applications via reverse engineering to meet existing market demands. Another is radio frequency fusion technology, a new manufacturing process that can produce a variety of EPS applications with a minimum of 70% recycled content.
Post-use and post-industrial totals increased in 2019, with more than 3.8 million kilograms of EPS recycled – 700 thousand kilograms more than 2018. The 2019 results are based on data received from 8 EPS manufacturers and independent recyclers in Canada. This figure includes 378 thousand kilograms of post-use material and 3.5 million kilograms of post-industrial recovery. Post-use is defined as any material that is recycled after its intended end-use while post-industrial recovery includes EPS manufacturing scrap that is recycled but never served its intended purpose as a packaging material or other end-use application.
The 2019 Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Study was conducted by the EPS Industry Alliance to gather data to reflect both post-use and post-industrial recycling activity. Participation in the EPS recycling survey is voluntary and the reported data is based on the responses received. Many companies have limited resources to put towards participation in the survey, and some companies may choose not to respond due to their confidentiality policies. Therefore, because there is not 100 percent participation, the presented totals represent the minimum amount of EPS recovered for recycling.
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The information contained herein is provided without any express or implied warranty as to its truthfulness or accuracy.
The EPS Industry Alliance does not endorse the products or processes of any individual manufacturer or recycler.