Styrenics Circular Solutions’ kommentar til forbud mod EPS-engangsemballage


Det europæiske initiativ Styrenics Circular Solutions er i går kommet med en udtalelse vedrørende det påtænkte forbud mod EPS-engangsemballage.

Et par nedslag i kommentaren – som kan læses i sin fulde længde her.

In the context of the proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (the Directive), the European Parliament and Council have proposed banning certain food and beverage containers made of expanded polystyrene (EPS).

We share the objectives of the Directive to reduce the environmental impacts of certain products, in particular in the form of marine litter. It must be a priority to stop waste of any kind, including plastic waste, from being littered or leaking into the environment. We would welcome turning the current rise in environmental awareness into an opportunity for all of us to fully endorse a culture of collection and recycling. However, we call upon the EU institutions to reject the proposed EPS bans, as they are unjustified, ineffective, and discriminatory.

EPS products have no increased risk of being littered

Defying selective perception, (1) less than 1% of all litter items found on EU beaches are clearly identified as PS, according to the data on which the Commission has based its proposal. (2) EPS is not specifically identified at all.

EPS is fully recyclable

Efforts of the EPS industry have already today led to the recycling and energy recovery of almost 67% of EPS waste in Europe. Whilst numbers differ among Member States as with any other material, recycling rates for EPS post-consumer packaging waste are as high as 56% in Austria, 48% in the Netherlands and 47% in Germany, showing that EPS recycling can be economical. Moreover, the EPS industry has been working towards further increasing EPS recycling by investing in new technologies to exceed the EU’s goals by 2030.(3)


1 Due to its high air content, foamed PS is indeed visible and distinguishable from solid plastic. However, this does not imply a higher
environmental impact. In turn, EPS’ characteristics provide the potential for effective separation and sorting. Any concerns regarding the
quality of EPS packaging, e.g. its sturdiness, can be effectively addressed in the revision of the essential requirements under Packaging
and Packaging Waste Directive.
2 Commission impact assessment, part 2, pp. 31 et seq., categories ranking 28 and 53. The EP has claimed that 31% of all plastic beach
litter would be PS. This is demonstrably incorrect. The cited litter categories combine PS and other plastic pieces.
3 One key to this is PolyStyreneLoop, an EU LIFE-supported industry project that demonstrates economically viable closedloop recycling at industrial scale. Its innovative process has been recognised as best practice in the Staff Working Documents
of the Plastic Strategy and the Communication on the Interface between Chemical, Product and Waste Legislation (CPW), and
as best available waste treatment technique in the Basel Convention Guidelines.