Extensive study on littering of expanded plastic has been published
The project was carried out in collaboration with Bergfald Miljørådgivere and SALT Lofoten on behalf of the Norwegian Environment Agency. An interdisciplinary collaboration has submitted a report to the Norwegian Environment Agency showing the status of EPS in production, waste management and possible measures to reduce littering.
Expanded plastic, also known as Styrofoam, is one of the most common findings in clean-up operations both domestically and along the coast. The material is very light and has good insulating properties and is used, among other things, as construction and insulation material in buildings, as shock-absorbing and insulating packaging and in floating elements for marine and maritime purposes.
More than 70,000 tonnes of expanded polystyrene (EPS) are used in Norway annually. Within some areas of use such as packaging, there are value chains that ensure material recycling of some expanded plastic at the end of its life. In other areas of use, such as building and construction, which make up more than half of the annual use, there are few systems in place to recycle the large amounts of EPS used as construction and insulation material.
In the report, you can read more about how much expanded plastic is put on the market, the mechanisms that lead to littering, and measures that can limit this littering.