EPS and the Environment

An Environment-conscious material

Good LCA results for EPS

All kinds of products consume energy and inevitably give impact on the atmosphere and water quality to some extent throughout the course from its production to the final disposal. As the standard method of assessing the lifelong burden on the environment of a product, “Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)” is important. Results of the comparative study on the cushion absorbing materials show that EPS has less environmental burden than the corrugated cardboard in all three criteria, namely the amount of energy consumption, CO2 emission and solid waste produced.

Compare to Corrugated CardboardEnergy Consumption CO2 Emission Solid waste Produced

Calculation bases ;
Calculated for the amount of cushion materials used for packing one set of 32 inch crystal TV
[Weight ratio of the materials: EPS / Cardboard = 1: 1.4]
  ・EPS : from digging of crude oil to recycling  ・Cardboard : from cutting of tree to recycling
[Spec. ratio of cardboard: outer liner / inner core = 2: 1]
  Case 1. inner core (using waste paper) and outer liner (using fresh pulp)    Case 2. inner core (using waste paper) and outer liner (using maximum waste paper)

EPS contributes to energy saving and CO2 reduction

EPS, when used as building material for housing, exercises its outstanding effects reduce energy consumption and consequently to control CO2 emission with causes the global warning,

Energy Saving (Flats building) CO2 Reduction (Flats building)

Calculation bases
Referred to “Survey on the influence of insulating materials upon the global warming (March, 1998) by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO): Specification of a flat
・Top floor of 5-storied flats building  ・Floor area : 70 M2  ・Service life : 60 years

Compared with a house not using an insulating material, the amount of energy saving in one flat (of flats building in Sapporo) is equivalent with kerosene of 75 plastic containers (18 liter / container) per year, that is 4,380 container for 60 years (the service life of the flats building). And the amount of CO2 reduction is 2,871 Kg per year corresponding to 172 tons for 60 years.

No dioxins to be generated when burnt alone

Dioxins are composed of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and chlorine, while EPS is composed only of carbon and hydrogen. And therefore EPS does not theoretically evolve dioxins when burnt alone and it turns into just carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O) upon the perfect combustion. No dioxins were detected in the EPS combustion tests conducted by an outside research institute.

EPS is made of polystyrene

CFCs are not used as an expanding agent at all

The raw beads used to make EPS contain an expanding agent to expand themselves to 50 times their original size. These expanding agents are hydrocarbon products such as butane and pentane and CFCs, which affect the ozone layer, have never been used in EPS production in the past.