EPS-acetonThe main objective of the COLRECEPS Project is the implementation of a demonstration prototype plant to recycle EPS waste to obtain pearls of EPS. These pearls will be used to manufacture new prototype products made of recycled EPS. Through this process, the life cycle of expanded polystyrene is closed, giving an added value to this waste.

The application of the new prototype products is in the food sector and has the advantage that they will be designed especially for the end user with enhanced features to the current.

The COLRECEPSProject is a solution to the need to solve an environmental problem which is the accumulation of large amounts of EPS waste in landfills. This waste is not biodegradable and occupies a large volume, due to its low density. Nowadays, an 80% of it is not treated properly, ending in landfills over than 32,000 tons/year in Spain, and being incinerated the 20% remaining. The amount of EPS waste that was generated in Europe in 2010, according to data obtained from CMAI (Chemical Market Associates), was 1.6 million tones.

COLRECEPS Project will also fulfill with environmental policy and legislation of the European Union through the implementation of Directive 2008/98/ES on waste management, reducing the amount of waste that is put in landfills and increasing recycling in a more environmentally sustainable.

The duration of the COLRECEPS Project will be three years and three months (from October 2013 until December 2016). The actions that will be carried out are the following:

  • To study the amount of EPS waste generated, since there is not any database that contains reliable information about it.
  • To create a proper system for the collection, logistic and management of the EPS waste.
  • To construct a demonstration prototype plant for the recycling of EPS and to optimize the operation conditions in the process in order to obtain a high-quality and optimal raw material for the manufacture of new products using this EPS recycled.
  • To manufacture new prototype products made of recycled EPS which will be tested by an end user in order to check that the new products satisfy all the minimum requirements needed.

In addition, during the COLRECEPS Project, the industrial implementation and the environmental and socio-economic impacts will be evaluated.