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Analysis: Is foam packaging bad for the environment?

Last Updated 9th November 2020
Posted In: Environment | Guides & Advice

New York Foam Ban.

Debate about foam packaging, its impact on the environment and its ability to be recycled

Earlier this year New York City joined 70 cities worldwide in banning the manufacturing, processing and selling of Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) and Polystyrene loose fill packaging.

The foam packaging ban, which was put into place in order to force food service suppliers to use recyclable materials, meant that many everyday items such as take-away cups and plates could no longer be made from EPS.

The ban was put into place in order to help New York City in its bid to become a greener city and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

Foam packaging
Is foam packaging bad for the environment? The debate has been through the courts in New York, with a resolution still to be found

Updates to the ruling

However, following a lawsuit and campaign led by restaurants, recycling companies and food service packaging manufacturers, a Judge at the New York Supreme State Court has now overturned the ban.

Margaret Chan (Judge) of New York Supreme State Court, indicated that “One undisputed short answer to whether EPS is recyclable is yes: single serve EPS is recyclable.”

As part of the lawsuit foam manufacturers were given the opportunity to prove that foam food service items could be economically and logistically recycled across the city.

Tool control foam
Foam packaging can sometimes be the more sustainable option, if it is to be used over multiple trips and prevents excessive damage / wastage

GWP Packaging’s commitment to recycling

GWP Packaging is committed to considering the environmental impact of our business and our products.

We are committed to reducing waste through efficient working processes, designing packaging with a minimal material usage and the use of recycled and recyclable materials wherever possible. Our commitment in this area has enabled the business to be awarded ISO 14001 accreditation.

At GWP Packaging we offer a range of corrugated products and packaging that are 100% recyclable and a greener alternative to plastic products.

Our innovative cardboard spools and corrugated cushioning can provide comparable levels of performance and protection against damage in transit or storage whilst also being environmentally friendly.

In fact, GWP can engineer a wide range of inserts, cradles and internal packaging from corrugated cardboard that are the perfect alternative to polystyrene.

Foam alternatives
GWP provide a number of foam alternatives including coated cardboard that is food safe and engineered cushioning protection

A job for foam

Despite the debate about its environmental impact, foam can offer unrivaled protection when it comes to safeguarding products. GWP Protective design and produce customised foam inserts which provide excellent protection to high-value, highly calibrated and expensive items during storage and transportation.

Protective cases with foam
Protective cases with foam offer the highest level of protection of any form of packaging

Our engineered foam inserts (also sometimes referred to as cushion packaging) are designed to reduce the severity of shock on delicate, highly calibrated and expensive items during handling and storage.

Their purpose is to reduce the transmitted shock generated by mishandling of the protective case to such a degree that it will not result in damage to the packaged article.

This enhanced protection system works by allowing a highly controlled level of deceleration within the foam insert.

Find out more.

Is foam packaging bad for the environment?

Click here to find out more about the New York City decision or get in touch using the details below to find out if we can help your business.

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Ian Heskins, Business Development Director at GWP Group
01793 754 444

About the Author: Ian Heskins

Business Development Director | GWP Group

Ian is one of the founding Directors of GWP, using his broad knowledge acquired over more than 30 years to oversee new business strategy. [Read full bio…]

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