Foam Fabricators
About Us
Arrow EPS and the Environment
-- What is EPS?
-- Applications and why...
-- Life Cycle Analysis (overview)
-- EPS Effects on the Enviornment
-- Pentane and ozone
-- Greenhouse gases
-- Waste Management
-- Biodegradability
-- Energy Recovery
-- Recycling rates - 2013 update
-- Conclusions
-- Full EPS LCI
-- EPS Recycling Program
-- EPS Sustainable Summary
-- EPS or molded pulp?
Arrow source reduction
Arrow resources
Arrow packaging regulations
Arrow issues to consider...
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Material Supply Chain definition - in the past: A network created amongst different companies producing, handling and/or distributing a specific product.

Material Supply Chain definition - 2017: A network created amongst different companies producing, handling and/or distributing a specific product and taking responsibility for the same products, especially disposable packaging - after their intended use.

Foam Fabricators designs, tests and manufactures foam products, and, it offers post manufacturing services. Our job is not done when we ship the foam. We're here to help you after the packaging has done its job too. We are also working on longer term "game changing" solutions; EPS like materials that exhibit post-use organic qualities such as being compostable.

So if you need packaging materials that are Sustainable, Clean, Safe, Efficient and Reliable - we can help you (read more). If you need help recycling or want recycled content materials - we can do that. And if you want to be supporting a company that is committed to working on even "greener" solutions for the future - that's us too (read more).

You've found the right spot to get help recycling your used packaging

 Are you a Nutrisystem customer? Click here for our internal drop off locations. Follow this link for many more... (please also take a moment to read the Q&A and 1 thru 5, below, it will save you time).

 Before we proceed, here are some answers to some common questions...  

Q - Why can’t I just recycle foam packaging this at my curbside?
A - This has been attempted in several municipalities.  The return rates were so low that the programs were not economically viable and consumed more natural resources than they saved.

Q – Do you know why the rates were so low?
A – If you think about it, foam packaging normally only comes into your home occasionally; when you buy something new like a television, computer or appliance, sometimes also with speciality frozen foods. Many paper, glass and metal products are entering your household every single day, largely packaging day-to-day food and beverages items. So there is a lot less foam packaging to begin with and not everyone recycles.

For both small and large businesses (receiving foam packaging on a more regular basis) we can and have set up specific recycling programs. If your needs fall into this category, please let us know or call 800-626-1197.

Q - What foam and/or packaging do you take back and recycle?
A – The simple thing to do is to look for the “reuseps” name and/or a number "6". If you see this either - it’s EPS (expanded polystyrene) or Arcel and we’ll gladly recycle it.

 Q – So, is much polystyrene recycled?
 A – Yes! Just follow this link for an update and more detail...  EPS recycleing rates/trends

Q – What do I do next?
  1. Look on our map of locations to find our nearest factory to you and print or write down the address FFI map. If you happen to be near one of our plants, just bring the foam in.
  2. One easy shipping solution is at your local post office, they have at least three sizes of standard mailers (boxes).  The large one is 12” x 12” x 5.5”.  There are also two smaller ones (11” x 8.5” x 5.5” and 11.6” x 3.3” x 13.8”). Most packaging will fit in one of these. Break the packaging up to make sure it fits in the smallest sized box. Want more info on this? See USPS (select "for mailing/shipping" then "flat rate")
  3. The large box costs $12.95 and the smaller two cost $9.80ea.  This flat rate price includes the boxes and shipping to any of our plants, from wherever you are in the continental U.S.
  4. Mail it to us and we’ll recycle it.
  5. Who pays $$$ ? You have to pay to get the foam to a recycling location. You pay now for all recycling, whether it's at your curb or you drive it to somewhere. We then absorb the costs (sorting, reprocessing, energy, equip, etc...)  from there. So this is an everyone pitching in deal to make it work. Thanks for helping to do your part.

There are more options further down this same page...

  • Here's a list of over 200 more molded foam recycling drop-off locations 200+ more...
  • This is a link to even more molded foam recycling options EPS-IA In some cases it may save you money to use your own box, particularly if the foam to be recycled is very small or if you’re near one of our factories.

Why USPS? With USPS there is virtually no added resource consumption and/or pollution. People are already going to the post office and then the used packaging travels in a system that’s already up and moving…

Do you want help setting up a polystyrene recycling program? Here it is... set up a program

Do you need help with recycling in another country?

Follow this link for direct contacts to industrialized countries outside of the U.S. global

For more general information on global recycling resources... more outsie the U.S.

Do you need help with loose fill (peanuts) or food service packaging?

Follow this link for peanuts loose fill 

And here for food service (plates, forks, etc...) food pkg

General Q & A...

Q – Why do I have to pay for shipping?
A – You may not have to, USPS is just one option. Having said that, recycling, while positive in many ways, does cost time and money. We have to buy extra equipment, pay for labor, take extra processing steps, etc… we don’t charge for any of that. So, we’re doing “our part” by providing a national resource whereby consumers and business can avoid taking packaging to the landfill, if they so choose. Sometimes there’s also a cost for you doing “your part”. Either way - by working together, we can get the recycling job done!

And, we all pay for things like curbside recycling anyway… as you see in your waste disposal/recycling bill, and property taxes – recycling all materials has a cost.

Q - How does Foam Fabricators recycle the EPS?
A – Most of the time we grind it up and remold the foam into new packaging.  However, have you ever noticed those little white particles in potting soil? Do you know what fills many bean bag chairs and doll bodies? What makes light weight cement and concrete blocks, light? How about plastic decorative wood-like trim? These are just some of the other "permanent second life" uses of molded foam packaging that we support.

Q – What if my foam does not have a “reuseps” logo?
A – Try to find another number on it, usually a 6 (EPS) or a 5 (EPP – polypropylene).  If it’s a 5 or a 6 we can probably recycle it and you can send it…

If you have other packaging recycling needs or need help with this program, just email us at or call us at 800-626-1197

Q – Do I have any other recycling options?
A – Yes. We're also part of a larger recycling organization, the EPS-IA  (Expanded Polystyrene Industry Assoc.) EPS-IA (same as above). See this website for more free recycling options.

Life Cycle Inventories (LCI) - Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) - Carbon Footprint Analysis (CFA)


Paper and/or starch are “good” and plastic is “bad" - is a misconception that the studies (below) are correcting.
There are several studies here and some are long and complicated, because, assessing the full impact of a packaging material on our environment is big and complicated task. 
However, they all, in the end, say the same thing; molded foam is no more harmful than paper and/or starch alternatives (all material have some impact) and in many cases 
it is an environmentally preferable solution.

LCA bar graph (one page overview)

BASF study (from "industry" but a lot of good information)

LCA Paper Foam (corrugated insert vs molded eps)

LCI EPS Paper (polystrene vs paper in foodservice)

TV Pkg (European eps TV packaging)

Full Franklin Study

Franklin (addendum)

LCI methodology

Whould you like more information about recycling, EPS or our company?  Just scroll back to the top of this page and choose any topic on the left hand side.

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