Expanded Polystyrene

EPS Fishboxes

Light, strong, cool solutions for the fish supply chain

EPS is 98% air
EPS is 100% recyclable

End of Life – options

Most used EPS is collected and easily converted into other EPS products, including long-life applications. These include coat hangers, CD cases and wood-substitute products. When used in fish boxes, EPS is less likely to be collected due to the fact that it has been contaminated by the fish it has protected. However, our industry is constantly searching for viable recycling options which would enable the growth of facilities able to cope with EPS packaging used in the cold supply chain.

In spite of the widespread use of EPS in packaging, it has been calculated that EPS accounts for only 0.1% of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW). As Government moves towards more clean-burn incineration of waste into energy, waste plastics (including EPS) are playing a crucial role in helping achieve the temperatures required for optimum clean-burn efficiency. In this way, with a calorific value higher than coal, end-of-life EPS can become a useful recoverable resource.

Landfill is always a last resort but users of EPS fish boxes should be reassured that, even in landfill, EPS remains inert and will not decompose to generate greenhouse gases or degenerate to pollute the air, water or ecosystems. EPS has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and zero Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Recycling and recovery

EPS is easily recycled and its resources recovered for long-life applications

Expanded Polystyrene is technically very easy to recycle and, wherever this is economically viable, recycling can take place in both closed loop and open loop processes. It can then be used in a wide variety of new applications from recycled-content packaging to long-life, highly-durable goods to innovative new products in sectors such as building and construction.

When used for the essential protection of fish and seafood products, at the end of their primary function EPS fishboxes are likely to have become contaminated by fish residues and malodorous fluids which renders them less suitable for recycling. At this stage, they may safely enter the mixed waste stream where the optimum route to resource recovery will be clean-burn incineration to generate energy from waste.

    Why use EPS?

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop packaging is easily recyclable

    Most EPS packaging is easily recyclable where facilities exist

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop is a low-cost solution

    Highly efficient manufacture and localised production units mean EPS is a low-cost, proven solution

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop gives outstanding impact resistance

    The 2% polystyrene cellular matrix gives outstanding impact resistance

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop is insoluble and non-hygroscopic

    EPS is insoluble and non-hygroscopic

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop is hygienic
    Hygienic & Safe

    EPS is non-toxic, chemically inert, and fungi and bacteria cannot grow on it

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop keeps fish safe and eradicates waste

    Unique insulation performance keeps fish safe and eradicates waste

  • Styrene for EPS expanded polystyrene airpop is abundant in natural products

    Styrene for EPS is a byproduct of refining but is also abundant in natural products

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop is 98% air

    EPS is effectively 98% air, minimising weight impacts in transportation

  • EPS expanded polystyrene airpop uses clean manufacturing technologie
    Low Carbon

    Clean manufacturing technologies mean minimal energy and water inputs with no production waste

Our sponsors


EUMEPS is the association for European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)EUMEPS is the association for European Manufacturers of Expanded Polystyrene. It represents converters of expandable polystyrene (EPS) to lobby and promote their interests in Europe. EUMEPS navigates the political and regulatory landscape in Europe and ensure that our voice is heard and the benefits of EPS as a construction and packaging material is understood.

EUMEPS’s vision as an association is simple: “To present a unified industry with a strong image and powerful voice”. This is done by providing a comprehensive service to all our members, allowing them to benefit from collective resources, knowledge and expertise in strategic areas of relevance to the industry.

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