Polystyrene recycling attached more importance due to the growing demand of the European market
Polystyrene, which is the made from styrene monomer, is one of the most popular plastic types used for packaging and house insulation. Polystyrene material has wide applications mainly due to the cost-effectiveness characteristic.
In recent years, polystyrene market has made a rapid growth thus leading to great pressure on environment. The Europe polystyrene market has been estimated at 7,111.73 million dollars in 2017. The composite annual growth rate of the market is expected to be 3.91 % in the forecast period from 2018 to 2023.
The growth of the polystyrene market in Europe mainly due to technological advances and the supply of cheap raw materials in the region. In addition, industrialization, the growth of plastics and rubber industries and the lack of availability of alternative energy have also boosted the European polystyrene market.
Packaging is a major consumer of polystyrene in Europe. It is estimated that up to 12.7 million tons of plastic foam enters the ocean every year-equivalent to one garbage truck per minute. This huge amount of foam waste will take hundreds of years or longer to dispose naturally, thus putting higher requirements for polystyrene recycling industry.
Europe has one of the world's largest polystyrene recycling capacities which reaches 27% of total polystyrene waste in Europe. In 1992, expanded polystyrene from Europe and organizations from Asia and North America formed an international EPS alliance to improve the global recycling rate of polystyrene. This has led to an increasing awareness of polystyrene recycling.
Many European countries like Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Italy and France are making efforts for polystyrene recycling. Some of the regions have introduced recycling machines like GREENMAX polystyrene compactor to realize foam volume reduction in an efficient way. The machines help compact loose foam into tight blocks at a ratio of 50:1 or higher to save storage and transportation costs. And the compacted foam blocks will be sold at a good price. In this case, polystyrene recycling has risen from environmental problems to economic problems.
Polystyrene recycling reduces the amount of plastic waste, save disposal cost and landfill spaces. More importantly, it can reduce the harm to the life of the earth. So not only Europe, but also the whole world should unite to promote polystyrene recycling.