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Polystyrene Recycling

Expanded plastics and polystyrene come in a variety of forms. “Polystyrene” is the name given to the type of plastic, and the chemicals and structures within it – but there are two main types of polystyrene in use today – rigid polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene (also known as styrofoam or polystyrene foam).

Rigid polystyrene (PS) – for example, yoghurt tubs – is just polystyrene plastic, with no air bubbles added. This is much easier to recycle, and can simply be melted and moulded into new containers and other products.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) or polystyrene foam – the white “bubbly” plastic frames often used in packaging for furniture or electronic goods – is actually up to 98% air, and as little as 2% plastic. As a result, it is quite difficult to transport and recycle efficiently and economically.

Will SUEZ accept my polystyrene?
In Australia, SUEZ recycles polystyrene and provides recyclable plastic collections. You can find more information about SUEZ plastic recycling services here. Please submit contact form below or contact SUEZ’s Customer Service Centre on 13 13 35 for services provided in your area.

What else can I do with my polystyrene?
Most Councils accept rigid polystyrene containers (for example yoghurt tubs) in kerbside recycling bins, however, polystyrene foam is very rarely accepted for recycling. Some companies specialise in recycling expanded polystyrene – visit Planet Ark's Recycling Near You website to find out if there are any such companies in your area. Otherwise, these items should be placed in your general waste bin.

To find out what else you can do with polystyrene foam, contact your local council.

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