Waste/Energy Impacts | Reusables | Recycling | Stored Energy

So…what if a community, a school, a restaurant or a supermarket wants to take advantage of plastic foodservice products…but also recycle more of its waste?  Many valiant efforts over the past few decades have shown exactly what works and what doesn’t when it comes to recycling, and today there are numerous innovative plastic foodservice recycling programs across the country—some of which were initiated by school kids!

Access to Recycling:
Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Items

Here are some examples:

So how do these recycling programs work?  And what happens to the recycled plastic? Recycling this stuff is fairly simple...but not easy.  The plastic products must be collected (usually clean) and delivered to a facility close enough to make the transport economical.  (Because foam packaging is more than 90% air, most programs “densify” the products to get more on a truck.) 

The plastic is then simply ground up, heated and recast into plastic pellets that then are sold to companies that make products such as “green building” construction materials, consumer goods and plastic packaging. 

Check out these videos and websites that walk through the various aspects of this type of plastic recycling:

Want to look further?  Check out these sites that help explain various types of plastic packaging recycling programs:



Ask a Question

We want to hear from you. Have a question? Want to learn more about recycling programs? Need more information?

Stay Informed

For more information about the Plastics Foodservice Packaging Group, click here.

Also sign up to receive important news from