Expanded Polystyrene and the environment
EPS offers substantial environmental advantages:
- EPS is safe, non-toxic and totally inert. At no time in its life cycle does it contain any Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). It is also absent of any nutritional value, so no fungi or micro-organisms, such as mould, can grow with EPS.
- EPS is recyclable: EPS can be recycled in many ways once it comes to the end of its life. These include recycling directly into new building products and incineration to recover its inherent energy content (waste to energy). The choice of a recycling method is based on technical, environmental and economic considerations.
- EPS presents no dangers to health in installation, during use and in the waste stage.
- EPS insulation saves money by reducing energy bills;
- EPS, as an effective insulation material prevents energy loss and therefore helps to conserve fossil fuels, prevents carbon dioxide emissions which cause the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Recent years have shown growing concern for the environment and in particular an increased demand for sustainable building and development. For the construction industry this means a need for accurate information about the environmental impact of the building materials and products that they use. Expanded polystyrene stacks up. The most reliable way to present this information has proven to be the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. This approach investigates the processes involved in the manufacture, use and disposal of a product or a system – from cradle to grave.