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Dutch processors/manufacturers want to recycle more used EPS. The demand for used EPS among various manufacturers is greater than the supply. EPS Nederland strives to maintain high-quality EPS streams, in order for these raw materials to be reused by EPS manufacturers as much as possible. However, as the burning of EPS and downcycling is still a current practice due to economic reasons, deviation from the trend needs to take place. After all, destroying raw materials is at odds with the objectives that have been defined.

From: The raw material agreement

Our society on what the earth and the economy offer us: we use raw materials for food, shelter, heat, clothing, electric appliances and mobility. The need for raw materials will increase in the coming years, in the Netherlands as well as in the rest of the world. At the same time, we are still wasting many raw materials with which we lose unnecessary value, pollute the environment, and influence the climate. The transition that is needed for this means a strong challenge for all partners. It will be a time-consuming and complex process in which partners innovate and experiment together, in which they learn to think and work in a circular way, flexibly anticipating new insights and developments.

From: LAP3

Keeping waste materials separate is a means to ensure waste management takes place in a safe manner and to achieve as much recycling as possible. Thereby, waste management contributes to a circular economy. The possibilities for recycling waste are largely determined by the nature and composition of the waste. It is important that the recycling possibilities are taken into account when creating and managing waste.

Sectorplan 85

EPS falls under category 28 of Appendix 5 of the LAP3: expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) with a concentration of HBCDD of less than 1,000. Based on the separation policy as described in chapter B.3, waste of this category must in principle be kept separate from each other, from other categories of waste and non-waste. Municipalities: on the basis of the Environmental Management Act, article 3.115, second paragraph under i, EPS must be stored separately at the municipal environmental street. In case EPS is not stored separately on the municipal waste disposal site, the same level of waste separation must be achieved by means of post-separation or in another way, with which the same level of recycling can be achieved as what would have been achieved by keeping it separate on the municipal waste disposal site.

See policy framework B.3 Waste separation
B.3.5.2. Companies: EPS must be kept separate if the quantity exceeds 24 litres per week.

EPS is not a regular plastic stream and is (therefore) separate from the current collection structure of plastic packaging (Plastic Heroes). Post-separation is not an option for EPS recycling. Currently, there is not an effective and efficient uniform and nationwide solution for the collection of EPS yet. This limits the reuse and recycling potential.