Why Save a Cup don't collect
'Expanded Polystyrene Cups'

Following numerous enquiries asking why Save a Cup can not collect the used expanded polystyrene cups (eps), the information below may help you answer any future questions.

  1. Even though they are made from the same polystyrene cup bead material as the hard walled variety. To give it is insulation properties the cup bead is expanded using a blowing agent.
  2. These blowing agents vary from one-cup manufacturer to another and are not compatible when being reprocessed. If the machinery is not correctly maintained & monitored they can become combustible and an explosion could follow.
  3. From a collection point of view Save a Cup are a 'Not for Profit' company. Therefore because the expanded polystyrene cup weighs less then the hard walled variety we would not be able to put the weight amount onto the vehicle and consequently fail to maximise the weight capacity. We as a company are constantly battling to maximise the load efficiency of our vehicles, which is the answer to the following equation 'weight collected on the vehicle/volume capacity of the vehicle'.
  4. As you can see the less weight we collect the lesser the efficiency, which in turn equals greater cost of the collection scheme.
  5. Finally if we were to collect the expanded polystyrene cup because of the reprocessing cycle much of this material would be lost. This is due to the set up of the hydro-cyclonic separation washing plant, which is the first step of the cycle. The lightness of the material would result in it being separated out along with the polythene bag material and therefore result in this material being contaminated and having to be land filled, which defeats the object of the scheme to collect, recycle and re-use a 100% guaranteed material.

I hope this explains why we can't collect your expanded polystyrene cups.