3 Steps to Accelerate Waste Polystyrene Recycling in Australia

In recent years, while the demand for expanded polystyrene (EPS) is growing rapidly, the recycling rates are still relatively low in Australia. On average, Australia consumes 47,000 tonnes of polystyrene a year, with a recycling rate of 29%, according to the 2018 National Waste Report. So how to accelerate waste polystyrene recycling in Australia?

Step1. Correct the misconception that polystyrene cannot be recycled

There is still a widespread and misplaced belief that waste polystyrene foam cannot be recycled. In fact, polystyrene is 100% recycled as long as it can be processed properly since it is composed of 98% air and only 2% resin. Polystyrene foam has a bulky volume and can easily fill up the trash, so it is usually rejected by many recycling centers, leading to the misunderstanding that polystyrene cannot be recycled. A correct understanding that EPS can be recycled together with other valuable waste materials is the first step to improve the recycling rate of EPS in Australia.

Step 2. Equipped with professional polystyrene recycling machines

When a large amount of polystyrene waste is collected and piled up in warehouses or garbage stations, how to efficiently dispose of them becomes a tricky task. Traditional landfill incineration will pollute the environment, and sending these polystyrene waste to the landfill center also requires high transportation costs. At this time, it is necessary to choose a professional polystyrene recycling machine.

The polystyrene recycling machine is specialized in compressing waste polystyrene such as food containers, delivery boxes,  insulation boards, and so on.  Throw the waste polystyrene foam into the machine hopper where it is crushed into small pieces, then drop into the screw part where the crushed foam pieces will be pushed out and then melted by heating parts. Finally, the polystyrene waste will become the hot melted ingots with a density of 90:1, greatly saving transportation and storage costs.

For end manufacturers and recyclers of polystyrene foam packaging, with large amounts of waste polystyrene packaging, or those who want to do long-term EPS recycling business, a professional polystyrene recycling machine will be needed. Besides, the Australian local councils responsible for handling foam waste from residents can also make polystyrene recycling the first choice, like Albury City Council located at the junction of New South Wales and Victoria.

Step 3. Develop a circular economy across the country

In a circular economy, materials that’d typically be thrown away can be reimagined and reinvented into something useful. In this way, polystyrene foam waste can gain its rebirth as decorative photo frames. Polystyrene recycling and reusing is an important part of Australia's circular economy development.

Accelerating the recycling rate of polystyrene waste is essential to reducing environmental pollution and developing the Australian circular economy. Let’s start from the first step by picking up the polystyrene trash around you and throwing it into the recycling bin.