Reuse, the practice of utilizing polystyrene products in the same form, is important not only because it delays the final disposal of a product, but also because it reduces the manufacture and purchase of new products. As a result, reuse prevents waste. Nearly 30 percent of polystyrene loose fill (some times called "peanuts" because of its shape) is used again, making it one of the most commonly reused packaging materials in some retail locations. For mailing services, the reuse rate of loose fill is as high as 50 percent. The successful application of reused loose fill polystyrene reduced the demand for virgin polystyrene by 25 percent in 1997 alone and, to this day, continues to directly reduce waste.
The recycling of polystyrene protective packaging and non-packaging polystyrene materials, (such as audio/visual cassettes and agricultural nursery trays/containers) has increased dramatically during the last decade and there has been a decrease in the amount of polystyrene food service packaging recycled during this period. Non-food service packaging is not contaminated with food and other wastes as is food service packaging, and therefore is more cost-effective to recycle.
Egyptian Styrene & Polystyrene Production Company.