Energy Saving and Environmental Protection
Expanded polystyrene (EPS), being an efficient and excellent material for thermal insulator, can perform an important role in the reduction of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, thus making a positive contribution to the reduction of the global warmth. CFCs or HCFCs are not used as skimming agents in its fabrication, so EPS causes no harm to the ozone layer.
The energy used for its fabrication (organized energy) is recovered after six months by means of the energy saved in the buildings where it has been installed.
For the rest of the lifespan of that building, the EPS will reduce its energetic requirements, using less fuel, which will generate less CO2. At the end of its lifespan, it can be recycled or burned up in energy plants to recover the thermal energy contained in it, for local heating or to generate electricity. For this reason, the EPS makes a positive contribution to the global environment.
The dumping of residues from EPS packages is the less acceptable waste management method because it implies wasting the opportunity of using again those resources
. But when there is no other way, residues of EPS can be safely dumped because the material is biologically inert, non-toxic and stable. The EPS does not produce any methane (with its potential greenhouse effect), nor does it imply any risk for underground waters, due to its inert and stable character.
Environmental Decalogue of the EPS
1) EPS is 100% recyclable and there are numerous applications for the recovered materials.
2) The fabrication and utilization of EPS do not imply any risk for people’s health nor for the environment.
3) EPS does not harm the ozone layer as it does not use, nor has ever used, gases from the family of the CFCs, HCFCs, nor any other compound derived from organoclorine.
4) The process of transformation consumes very little energy and does not generate residues.
5) The utilization of EPS as thermal insulator in construction means important savings of heating energy in buildings and an extreme reduction of contaminant gases (CO2 and SO2), contributing to the decrease of the "greenhouse effect" and of "acid rains".
6) Packages made of EPS, due to their characteristics, besides their providing full protection to the products packed, help save fuel as they are really light.
7) Packages made of EPS can be used to contain food as they fulfil all the national and international sanitary requirements. Besides, EPS does not favour the development of fungus and bacteria.
8) EPS represents only 0.01% of the solid urban waste of Spain. The impact of EPS on the total amount of waste generated is minimal.
9) The products from which EPS is made contain a high caloric potential (1Kg of EPS is equivalent to 1.3L of liquid fuel), which makes it very interesting for energetic reutilization.
10) As it is not soluble in water, EPS does not produce any water-soluble products that could pollute underground waters.