Life EPS-SURE Project

"Paolo Garbagna, CEO of the ICSS Group, Vice-President of AIPE (Italian Association of Expanded Polystyrene) and Vice-President Eumeps (European Association of Expanded Polystyrene) represents Italy in the European research project Life EPS-SURE."

Launched in 2017 and ending in 2020, the European research project Life EPS-SURE, funded by the European Commission, aims to develop the recycling of sintered expanded polystyrene (EPS) cassettes for use in fish in new food packaging, in particular thermoformed trays in compact polystyrene.

EPS cassettes are commonly used for packaging, transport and display of fresh fish, thanks to their excellent thermal insulation, impact protection, safety and lightness. Today, most of these containers, after use, are sent to landfills. It is estimated that by promoting recycling it is possible to reduce by 80% the volume of EPS containers that undergoes this fate.

The researchers will work on several fronts: to identify an efficient system of collection, transport and mechanical recycling in order to obtain reusable polystyrene granules in the food sector; identify and implement procedures and best practices for waste management in terms of logistics, warehousing, pre-treatment and recycling; develop a demonstration plant for the recycling of the boxes and create a pilot plant for the production of polystyrene leaves starting from regenerated granules and virgin material, in different concentrations.

Life EPS-SURE is a project born in Spain, coordinated by Cicloplast - a non-profit organization that aims to promote the prevention of littering and recycling of end-of-life plastic products - with the participation of the Anape association, the Coexpan plastic packaging manufacturer, the El Corte Inglés supermarket chain and the plastics producer Total Petrochemicals Ibérica.

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