In the pursuit of sustainability, EUMEPS member and Italian Association of Expanded Polystyrene (AIPE) has become a pivotal force in propelling Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) to the forefront of the circular economy. AIPE’s innovative projects and strategic partnerships showcased at the recent Ecomondo expo highlight the transformative potential of EPS in fostering both environmental and economic sustainability.
Catalysing Change: AIPE’s Innovative EPS Recycling Initiatives
AIPE’s dedication to environmental stewardship is manifest in its trailblazing projects that reimagine EPS recycling. “The extended responsibility of waste management is not an obligation for our industry, it is a commitment that guides our investments, as well as several projects and initiatives,” asserts Alessandro Augello, AIPE president. The “EPS Porto a Porto” project exemplifies this commitment, targeting the recuperation of EPS fish crates in port areas, thereby mitigating marine litter and underscoring the economic viability of recycling.
Additionally, AIPE’s collaboration with the Milan Fish Market has revolutionised waste management in commercial settings, establishing a model for EPS recycling that resonates with businesses and consumers alike. “With this target, AIPE is collaborating with the institutional player COREPLA – the National Consortium for the collection and recycling of plastic packages,” Augello notes, emphasizing the strategic alliance aimed at amplifying EPS recycling initiatives.
Uniting for a Sustainable Future: AIPE and Corepla’s Partnership
This collaboration seeks to foster the sustainability and recycling of EPS by sharing the successful projects launched in recent years. “EPS porto a Porto” for the recovery of EPS boxes for fishing in port areas, the initiative with the Milan Fish Market for the collection and recycling of fish boxes in a commercial area, and the project “L’EPS si differenzia” for the selection and recovery of EPS packaging through municipal companies and some large-scale retail trade (GDO) in the food, household appliances, and furniture sectors, are all testaments to this effort.
Furthermore, the partnership with COREPLA is pivotal in promoting the culture of EPS collection and recycling through awareness-raising activities addressed to citizens and municipalities. AIPE’s role in influencing policy and consumer attitudes towards EPS has been instrumental in reinforcing Italy’s leading role in recycling and championing the shift towards a circular economy on a global stage.
Spearheading the Journey to a Greener Tomorrow
“EPS indeed is a unique material for its characteristics of lightness, shock-absorbing, and thermal insulation properties; it is irreplaceable for many applications, but above all, is sustainable because it can be recycled completely and infinite times,” concludes Augello. AIPE stands as a beacon of proactive environmental governance, with its involvement in EPS recycling setting a precedent for sustainable practices.
By mobilising different sectors of society, AIPE has laid the foundation for a circular economy that regards materials like EPS as long-lasting resources, not mere waste. The journey of AIPE in the realm of EPS recycling serves as an inspiring template for sustainable materials management, illustrating that a greener future is within reach when commitment, collaboration, and innovation converge. AIPE’s actions affirm that united efforts and shared vision are key to advancing environmental conservation and resource efficiency.