22 May Types of Foam #6
Polystyrene based products are classified as Plastic/Foam #6. Included in this category are Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Polystyrene Paper Foam (PSP Foam). In addition, packing peanuts are Plastic #6. Many times, Foam #6 is referred to as “Styrofoam”, which is a trademarked name by Dow Chemical Company.
EPS (pictured above with coolers) is made from polystyrene resin. Then the resin beads are expanded (due to steam) by 50 times in volume from PS resin size. Once the beads are expanded they are able to be molded into their intended shape.
PSP Foam (pictured above with a lunch tray) is also made from polystyrene resin. The resin beads are then put into an extruder that is heated, basically melting the beads. The extruded foam is then put into a “paper” roll and then molded into appropriate shape.
So how can you tell if your foam is EPS or PSP Foam? The rule of thumb is if you can see the individual beads, then you have EPS. If the foam is smooth and you cannot see individual beads, then you likely have PSP Foam. Usually, EPS is used for protective packaging, shipping containers (like coolers), and for construction products. PSP Foam is almost exclusively used for food products.
Creative Packaging is the region’s leading recycler of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). At this time, we do not recycle PSP foam. If you or your company has large amounts of clean EPS, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.