Hand holding polystyrene boxes

Polystyrene can’t go into your kerbside recycling bin

If you’ve been doing a bit of online shopping lately, your items might have arrived packed in polystyrene to prevent damage. That’s great for your shopping, but not for the environment. Polystyrene products can’t be put into your kerbside recycling bin, but there is a way you can dispose of some polystyrene products.

August 6, 2020
Hand holding polystyrene boxes

Polystyrene is most commonly found in three forms. Rigid Polystyrene (PS), Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Extruded Polystyrene (XPS). Expanded polystyrene, commonly used in packaging (EPS) can be recycled via CLAW Environmental.

Some products made from EPS include:

  • Protective packaging for fragile items
  • Bean bag ‘beans’
  • Food delivery/produce boxes
  • Takeaway trays and cups

What happens when expanded polystyrene is not recycled?

Polystyrene lasts a very long time in the environment and is made up of small balls that can break apart. These balls are extremely lightweight and can spread very easily. They are also small enough for animals to ingest.

Where can I take my waste polystyrene?

EPS can be dropped off at the Claw Environmental site in Welshpool during business hours, free of charge.

  • Remove any labels and/or tape
  • Food grade polystyrene trays and cups must be washed and free from any food residues.
  • Coloured EPS can be accepted. Please keep separate from white EPS.
  • Place bean bag beans in a box or bag. The bean bag cover cannot be recycled.
  • Place any small pieces in a box or bag so they are manageable.

How do I tell if it is EPS?

Other plastics can also be used to make expanded products. Expanded Polyethylene (EPE) and Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) are often used in similar ways to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS).

  1. Expanded polystyrene is dry to touch, not very flexible and breaks easily. (Can be recycled via Claw Environmental)
  2. Expanded polyethylene feels slightly greasy to touch, is very flexible and doesn’t break. (Cannot be recycled)
  3. Expanded polypropylene is dry to touch, is flexible but tough to break. (Cannot be recycled)

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