Biden’s Investment in Recycling Infrastructure to Benefit Polystyrene Recycling Systems at Solid Waste Facilities

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Biden’s Investment in Recycling Infrastructure to Benefit Polystyrene Recycling Systems at Solid Waste Facilities

The Expanded Polystyrene Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) Commends Biden-Harris Administration’s $100 Million Investment in Recycling Infrastructure to Promote Circular Economy

Summary: The Expanded Polystyrene Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s recently announced $100 million investment in recycling infrastructure projects. Key business industries that utilize EPS will benefit from the funds, which also come at an opportune moment amidst EPS-IA’s efforts to facilitate new recycling facilities for the widely-used material. Crofton, MD., September 15 – The EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA), the North American trade association leading the expanded polystyrene (EPS) industry, commends the Biden-Harris administration’s recently announced $100 million investment supporting recycling infrastructure projects.“EPS Industry Alliance applauds the Biden-Harris administration’s $100 million investment in recycling infrastructure projects,” stated Betsy Bowers, Executive Director of EPS-IA. “Vital business sectors that rely on EPS as a recyclable and sustainable material will benefit from this prudent investment. The newly announced funds come at an opportune moment, with EPS-IA’s partners working to install polystyrene recycling systems at solid waste facilities across the United States. “Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) plays an essential role in many key industries including packaging, construction, manufacturing, insulation, automotive and food service among others. Products like medical packaging, protective gear, electronics, life preservers, water heaters, car seats and more are all made using EPS Despite common misperceptions, long standing efforts demonstrate EPS cycling efficacy through a network of more than 375 community drop-off locations and over 100 curbside collection programs in North America. In 2020, expanded polystyrene recycling for transport packaging exceeded 65,000 tons representing a 42.6% recycling rate.

As part of the investment, the EPA has chosen 25 communities to receive over $73 million in grants under the newly created Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program. The funding will help put the EPA’s National Recycling Strategy into action, working toward a circular economy where materials, products, and services are used for as long as possible. The timing of the investment could prove to be pivotal, as the initiative coincides with ongoing efforts within the EPS industry. Foam Cycle, has been actively working alongside municipal waste agencies in various communities to introduce polystyrene collection and densification systems at local solid waste facilities. This newly patented polystyrene recycling system offers landfill operators a turnkey solution to include expanded polystyrene into its hard-to-recycle drop-off programs. Foam Cycle demonstrates an established presence with more than 30 locations, with more scheduled for installation in 2023. Existing locations now serve a population of more than 11 million people in 13 states, showing a 200% increase in pounds collected from 2020 to 2021.

This growth trend is gaining momentum and has the potential to grow exponentially with additional grant funding. In recent years the adoption of Foam Cycle’s system has grown to include non-profit agencies, counties, municipalities, and public-private partnerships that have committed to recycling foam packaging. “The opportunity for capital investment in support of EPS recycling could be a game changer for many of these communities,” said Betsy Bowers. “Including EPS in community recycling can bring quick benefits, like saving landfill space and generating new profit streams. By dedicating a portion of the grants to this effort, the communities can add new materials to their recycling portfolio, which can then bring long-term benefits, both environmentally and economically.”

www.epsindustry.org

 

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