Staying with Polystyrene

Acknowledging perceptions is key.  The visible nature of plastic pollution has put packaging on the forefront of the environmentalists’ to-do list.  We agree that recycling needs everyone’s full attention and we have therefore been a keen and active participant in extended producer responsibility schemes – long before it became legislation!  We are a key link in educating the market at large and driving sustainable solutions hard, through our innovative approach to good manufacturing practices, designing products for recycling and ensuring that all we do minimizes our carbon footprint, as much as possible. 

We say ‘yes’ to polystyrene because it is fit for purpose.  We say yes for its physical properties:  protecting content, thermal properties, lightweight, shelf life, chemical resistance, and being cost effective.

We also say ‘yes’ to polystyrene for the opportunities that it offers:  significant secondary market recycling opportunities, the vast market that requires cost-effective packaging options and the opportunity to continuously engage with stakeholders and move this packaging medium to an even stronger position.

Polystyrene packaging mostly finds its afterlife in secondary markets outside of packaging.  The main secondary markets include the décor, stationary, outdoor furniture and construction markets.  The construction industry enjoys the remarkable benefits of building homes, shopping centers, commercial and educational properties using lightweight concrete block, made from recycled polystyrene.

Brick

A whopping 950 low cost houses has been constructed, five educational centers in rural areas, student accommodation, residential apartment blocks and even landmark sites such as the museum at the Cape Town V&A waterfront and the Gautrain station has benefitted from lightweight concrete blocks made from the recycled polystyrene that you have assisted us in recycling.   

Another noteworthy project is that of portable lap desks being manufactured from recycled polystyrene as part of the Tutu Desk initiative for underprivileged education centers

Through these initiatives, we are able to use even contaminated post-consumer polystyrene, thus reducing waste to landfill and carbon emissions.  We benefit society by contributing to the much-needed waste collection infrastructure in small communities and create satellite factories that in turn, creates employment opportunities. 

Specific to lightweight concrete blocks made from recycled polystyrene and housing, the building process is faster, houses enjoy excellent dimensional stability since concrete blocks made from polystyrene does not crack, shrink or swell as conventional blocks tend to.  It has a higher fire rating and insulation properties so that damp, condensation and mould are all things of the past. 

There is a vast range of benefits, unknown to the general market, to polystyrene, across the value chain.  And even if no benefit, other than converting it into concrete blocks existed, this initiative on its own would justify the responsible use and strong continuation of this material.

We say ‘yes’ to polystyrene – for its strengths and the golden opportunities that it continuously presents.

To enquire about our polystyrene or PET products, click here.

Food containers with full international food-grade

  • BRC Global Standard for Packaging & Packaging Materials
  • EU directive 10/2011 or FDA standards; certified for directfood applications
  • Migration limits EU directive 10/2011
  • Regulation (EC) no 2023/2008 good manufacturing practices; food materials
  • Endorsed by the Southern African Vinyls Association