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Frequently Asked Questions

Dive into our carefully curated FAQ section, designed to address commonly asked questions about Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). Here, we demystify all aspects of EPS, ensuring you’re fully informed about its benefits, applications, and environmental impact.


What is Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and How is it Used?

Expanded Polystyrene, commonly abbreviated as EPS, is a versatile and lightweight plastic material. It’s composed of numerous tiny, hollow spheres that create a closed-cell structure. This unique composition gives EPS exceptional properties, making it suitable for a broad range of uses.

At Polyfoam, we specialise in producing EPS products for diverse applications, from fresh produce packaging (like fruits, vegetables, and seafood) to various building and construction solutions. These include insulated sandwich panels, domestic wall cladding systems, and under slab void filler pods, showcasing EPS’s adaptability and effectiveness.

What are the Environmental Impacts of EPS Manufacturing?

At Polyfoam, we pride ourselves on our environmentally responsible approach to producing Expanded Polystyrene (EPS). Our manufacturing process is designed to minimise environmental impact through careful resource management. We use only 2% of polystyrene from fossil or recycled sources in our EPS production, significantly reducing waste and maximising resource efficiency.

One of the key features of our process is the condensation and reuse of steam, a practice that exemplifies our commitment to a closed-loop system and substantially cuts down water consumption. We continually innovate, employing techniques like rapid-cooling moulding and water recycling to further reduce energy usage and lessen our ecological footprint.

At Polyfoam, our production process generates zero residual solid waste. We custom-design EPS products for specific applications, and any excess material is fully recycled back into our production cycle, eliminating waste. This approach underscores our dedication to the recyclable nature of EPS and supports recycling efforts by both businesses and consumers.

Does Polyfoam Sell EPS Products Directly to the Public?

Yes, Polyfoam extends its product range to the general public as well as wholesale clients. While we primarily operate as a wholesale manufacturer, we are pleased to offer our wide array of EPS products for individual purchase. However, it’s important to note that there are minimum quantity requirements for our products when sold directly to the public.

How Can I Obtain Pricing Information for Polyfoam Products?

To receive a personalised quote for any of our Polyfoam products, we encourage you to reach out to our nearest office. You can contact us via phone or email, providing specifics about the product you’re interested in. Our team is dedicated to assisting you with detailed information and will promptly provide you with an accurate price estimate, tailored to your specific requirements. This approach ensures you get the most relevant and up-to-date pricing, along with any additional product details you might need.

Does Polyfoam Provide Custom Cutting of Polystyrene?

Yes we can. To ensure accuracy and meet your expectations, we kindly request that you provide us with a drawing, sketch, or specific dimensions of the desired shape. Once we have these details, our team can offer you a comprehensive guide on how we’ll proceed, and even provide an estimated cost for the custom cutting service.

EPS Sustainability & Recycling

How Does EPS Contribute to Environmental Sustainability?

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)  known for its light weight and insulation properties, is a sustainable choice in both packaging and construction. Remarkably, its production uses less than 0.1% of global crude oil, yet it can deliver substantial energy savings, up to 200 times its resource in thermal energy. Its lightweight nature leads to significant transport savings, reducing fuel consumption and associated emissions. Additionally, EPS’s excellent insulation qualities in construction contribute to energy efficiency over the lifetime of a building.

What Makes EPS a Preferable Material in Terms of Sustainability?

EPS stands out due to its light weight, durability, moisture resistance, thermal efficiency, and shock absorption qualities. These characteristics not only ensure product safety and quality but also contribute to environmental sustainability. For instance, its light weight reduces transportation costs and emissions, while its durability and moisture resistance extend the life of products and packaging. Furthermore, EPS’s thermal efficiency is crucial for temperature-sensitive shipments, minimizing energy used for cooling or heating during transport.

Can EPS be Recycled and How Does This Process Work?

Yes, EPS is 100% recyclable and can be recycled at various stages of its life cycle. During production, any waste is reprocessed back into new EPS products. In construction, offcuts can be recovered and recycled. Its enduring quality means it doesn’t degrade over time, making it ideal for recycling from various applications. Polyfoam, as a member of StyroCycle, supports initiatives that promote efficient EPS recycling, turning it into valuable resources for new products.

What Impact Does EPS Have on Reducing Carbon Emissions?

The effective use of EPS insulation in buildings can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, potentially cutting them by up to 50%. This reduction is due to the excellent thermal insulation properties of EPS, which diminish the need for excessive heating or cooling in buildings, thereby lowering energy consumption and associated emissions.

How is Polyfoam Contributing to the Circular Economy Through EPS Recycling?

Polyfoam is at the forefront of advancing the circular economy by actively participating in EPS recycling initiatives. As a member of StyroCycle, Polyfoam offers a free drop-off service for EPS recycling, turning waste into valuable resources like building materials and consumer products. This not only demonstrates the recyclability of EPS but also emphasises our commitment to sustainable practices and efficient recycling solutions.

EPS in Construction

What Are the Key Benefits of Using Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in Construction?

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) is a game-changer in the construction industry, offering significant benefits such as high compressive strength, lightweight properties, recyclability, versatility, sustainability, and thermal efficiency. Its ability to withstand heavy loads makes it ideal for foundations and other structural applications. Being lightweight, EPS simplifies handling and reduces labour costs. Its recyclable nature aligns with eco-friendly construction practices, and its versatility allows for diverse applications, from insulation panels to void-forming materials. EPS’s minimal resource usage in manufacturing and exceptional thermal insulation properties further enhance its appeal in sustainable building practices.

How Have EPS Waffle Pods Improved Concrete Slab Construction?

For over a decade, EPS Pods have transformed the construction of domestic housing slabs by offering a safer, faster, and more cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. These pods reduce the amount of concrete required – up to 30%. Notably, EPS pods are impervious to water and enhance safety by preventing trench cave-ins. This innovation ensures consistent beam widths and thicknesses, reduces weather-related delays, and accelerates construction times.

What is the Insulation Benefit of Including EPS Pods in Slabs?

Incorporating EPS Pods in slab construction adds significant insulation benefits, with a thermal resistance up to R 1.0 (w/mK). This enhancement in insulation contributes to reduced energy consumption in buildings, which, when applied across numerous houses, substantially lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, EPS Pods not only improve construction efficiency but also offer a meaningful environmental benefit.

How Does Polyfoam Uphold the EPSA Pod Code of Practice in EPS Construction?

Polyfoam is a committed advocate of the EPSA Pod Code of Practice, a set of guidelines dedicated to ensuring the responsible and environmentally friendly handling of EPS waffle pods. This code encompasses several critical areas, including the secure transportation and storage of pods, proper disposal of contaminated pods, recycling of clean scrap pods, and measures to prevent pods from being dislodged by wind. By adhering to these guidelines, Polyfoam not only guarantees the safety and efficiency of EPS pods in construction projects but also demonstrates our dedication to sustainable practices. This commitment extends from the initial stages of pod production right through to their end use, ensuring that each step aligns with environmental stewardship and responsible construction methods

What Are Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) and How Do They Utilise EPS?

Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) are construction components made from EPS or other insulating materials, used to form building walls. Filled with reinforced concrete, they create structures that are not only robust and durable but also highly energy-efficient. EPS is a crucial component in ICFs, providing excellent insulation and contributing to the overall strength and efficiency of the building.

How Does the Polywall® ICF System Enhance Construction?

The Polywall® ICF system optimizes construction by assembling EPS panels onsite, which are then filled with concrete to create reinforced concrete walls. This system allows for construction up to three meters in height in a single pour, enhancing the speed and efficiency of the building process. Polywall® stands out for its thermal efficiency, structural strength, low sound transfer, high fire resistance, and eco-friendly benefits, making it a preferred choice for sustainable and durable construction.

What Environmental Impact Does Building with ICF and Polywall® Have?

Building with ICF and Polywall® positively impacts the environment. The energy-efficient nature of ICF buildings, thanks to the insulating properties of EPS, significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the environmentally friendly materials used in Polywall® contribute to sustainable construction practices, aligning with green building standards and promoting a healthier environment.

EPS in Packaging

What Makes EPS an Ideal Material for Packaging?

EPS, or Expanded Polystyrene, is an outstanding material for packaging due to its unique combination of shock absorption and weight advantages. Its ability to protect fragile and expensive items like electronics, wines, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals during transport is unparalleled.

Additionally, its excellent thermal insulation and moisture resistance extend the freshness of perishable products such as produce and seafood. These properties make EPS the go-to choice for secure and efficient packaging solutions.

How Does EPS Packaging Benefit the Transportation of Perishable Goods?

EPS packaging plays a crucial role in the transport of perishable goods like fruits, vegetables, and seafood, extensively used in both domestic and export markets. Its low thermal conductivity is pivotal in protecting contents against sudden temperature changes, ensuring that the quality and freshness of perishable items are maintained during transit. The moisture resistance and high shock absorption of EPS also contributes to preserving the integrity of these products.

Is EPS Packaging Environmentally Friendly?

Absolutely. EPS packaging is 100% recyclable, aligning with Polyfoam’s commitment to sustainability. Our product stewardship program ensures that end-of-life packaging is recycled into sustainable building materials, like insulation for energy-efficient buildings. This approach minimises environmental impact and exemplifies our dedication to responsible manufacturing and environmental stewardship.

What are the Key Characteristics of Polyfoam's EPS Packaging?

Polyfoam’s EPS packaging is designed for superior protection and efficiency. Our EPS boxes are lightweight, durable, and offer exceptional thermal insulation. They are crafted with advanced moulding technology, making them ideal for the food industry’s stringent requirements. These boxes are airline approved and adhere to strict manufacturing and quality control standards, ensuring they meet the highest levels of safety and reliability.

Can EPS Packaging Withstand Water and Moisture?

Yes, EPS is a closed-cell material that does not readily absorb water, retaining its strength and durability even when in direct contact with water. This makes EPS packaging highly suitable for products that might be exposed to damp conditions, ensuring the contents remain protected and secure.

Why Choose EPS Over Other Packaging Materials?

Choosing EPS for packaging balances several critical factors, including ease of handling and storage, light weight, excellent cushioning characteristics, and manufacturing efficiency. EPS is also chemically inert, making it safe for food packaging. Its durability and moisture resistance add to its appeal, ensuring that it remains a cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly option for a wide range of packaging needs.

Is EPS Packaging Banned in Australia?

No, EPS packaging is not entirely banned in Australia. The Australian Government’s National Plastics Plan has phased out the use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in certain contexts, particularly in single-use food and beverage containers and loose fill packaging like packaging peanuts. However, there are specific exemptions where the use of EPS is still permitted and indeed essential. These exemptions include its use in business-to-business packaging, such as boxes for fresh produce, specialist medical applications, the building and construction industry, and business-to-consumer packaging that incorporates an effective reuse model. For businesses dealing with heavy products or those requiring precision in packaging, EPS continues to be an indispensable solution due to the lack of viable alternatives. This targeted approach in regulation ensures that EPS can still be utilized where its unique properties are most needed, while encouraging more sustainable practices in areas where alternatives are available.