EPS or XPS is a common problem for the marine wildlife and for humans, especially around the European Union’s Atlantic coasts and sea.
Generally used to produce packaging or in theconstruction sector, although it is recyclable material this process is a rarephenomenon. This is largely due to the low cost-effectiveness rate of transportingand recycling of expanded material – it weighs little in relation to its volume. The lightness of this material makes it easy to be blown away fromlandfills, getting scattered on the ground or, as often occurs, at sea, contaminatingthe food chain.
OSPAR beach monitoring reports say small pieces ofpolystyrene are amongst the most common types of marine litter items found. Moreover, because it flakes so easily and gets fragmented into small particles, it can randomly travel long distances.
This problem is the motto for the work developed by the OCEANWISEproject, which already promises to make the world a better place.
But did you know there is a company thatalready shows evidence of really changing the world in this field? BEWiSynbrahas only existed for a year, but it is already the only company in Europe thatmakes total recycling of EPS. Their process based on the concept ofcircular economy.
And speaking of circular economy: in Spain, there is a teamdedicated to creating a tool that aims to help European companies to applycircular economy in their businesses. In Ireland, the Principal Officer of the Waste Policy and Resource Efficiency Division at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment told us how his country is currently positioned on EPS recycling compared to other.
You can read about these exemple on this newsletter >>> 1. NEWSLETTER
In France, the change is happening already too. Anouck Le Crann is responsible for the Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) of the fishery port of Lorient, a French commune in the administrative region of Brittany with about 60
thousand inhabitants and overlooking the River Blavet. She tells us how, from here on, she saw the change happen, when the French ports started to offer EPS and XPS compactors.
The idea inspired the world and there are countries that are also beginning to invest in the creation of compactors in their fishing ports – previously without a solution for fish, EPS and XPS boxes.
How does this work? Read more about it on this newsletter >>> 3. NEWSLETTER
At Portugal, a cage was set near the docks in the city of Setúbal to save the marine litter. Yes, a cage. In it, there are no birds, but EPS and XPS. For years, restaurants in this popular area have asked for a solution for the white coat of waste from fragmented EPS boxes that spreads on the seafront on windy days, because there’s no place to deposit the fish boxes that bring fresh fish and seafood to restaurants only to get discarded by lunchtime.
This case-study was developed by the municipality of Setúbal and the cage was installed on March 19 this year. It has a maximum capacity of about 100 boxes and the daily volume deposited there is about ¾ of the total volume of fish boxes that would otherwise be left in open wair waiting for the waste management trucks to pick them up.
You can read more about this solution on this newsletter >>> 4. NEWSLETTER