Sustainable Food Packaging

25 November 2011  |  Admin

Polystyrene Boxes, Sustainable Food Packaging?

At JB Packaging one of our key concerns has always been that our food packaging is sustainable. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is often perceived as an environmentally unfriendly material, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact the manufacturing process of EPS is much more efficient and friendly than other packaging materials used today.

The manufacturing process of our Expanded Polystyrene boxes doesn’t require much energy or produce much waste so there’s no risk to health or the environment. All expanded polystyrene uses during manufacture is water (which is re-used), steam and pressure, this is all that is required during the moulding process and what makes the EPS bead fuse together.

EPS takes advantage of the most abundant and environmentally friendly packaging material in the world …. Fresh Air!

EPS is one of the most resource efficient materials out there because it comprises of 98% air and only 2% polystyrene. This makes EPS one of the lightest packaging materials in existence plus all that trapped air gives EPS it’s amazing insulating powers, that keeps your food fresh and free of condensation.

What about the 2% Polystyrene?

Polystyrene is made from Styrene which is a bi-product of Benzene production from crude oil refining. Styrene occurs naturally in the environment all around us, significant concentrations can be found in strawberries, beans, nuts, beer, wine, coffee and cinnamon.

100% Recyclable

Not many people know that clean EPS is 100% recyclable. However thousands of tonnes of EPS are being recycled across Europe today. Any scrap EPS produced by our manufacturing plants is recycled on-site to be used again. The expanded polystyrene packaging industry is at the forefront of UK plastics recycling. The EPS Packaging Group promotes the increase of recycling levels in the UK through education seminars and community projects.

New packaging like coat hangers, picture frames, hardwood decking, garden furniture and CD cases.

Environmental benefits:

  • Fuel savings because of the lightness of the material
  • No CFC’s or HFC’s, no harmful by-products
  • Rejects can be reground into bead and reused
  • Superior insulation & protection reduces in-transit waste of goods
  • EPS is inert & innocuous which means that it is not chemically reactive

If EPS cannot be reused or recycled, it makes an ideal clean fuel for energy production. Finally, if the material does (wrongly) find its way into a landfill site, it’s inert nature means that it will not decompose into polluting liquids or gases.

For more information on the environment and recycling visit our FAQs.