Expanded Polystyrene Australia - December 2016
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Welcome to the EPSA Christmas newsletter. It has been a busy year and we’re looking forward to an exciting 2017. Next year will be particularly special with Australia and New Zealand hosting Airpop 2017, Australasian and AMEPS World EPA Conference which will held at the Crown Casino on the 1st to the 3rd of November 2017 – so save the date.
Looking back on 2016, it is clear that the EPS industry still faces some significant challenges, but happily we’ve had some significant wins. In particular the request by the State Building Ministers Forum for EPSA to submit our submission on the issue of the use of Fire Retardant in building materials.
However, the battle still continues on other fronts. With a falling Australian dollar, for many recyclers of EPS product this has meant it has been difficult to sell recyclate at a cost effective rate. This has seen a number of providers close their doors and is a particular problem in Victoria. Director Graham Attwood has been dealing with this issue, ably supported by other Board Members and hopefully in 2017 we’ll be able to come up with meaningful solutions, such as a Code of Practice for members as well as assisting more recyclers to enter the market.
Unfortunately, environmentalists have been agitating for the banning of single use EPS for food service. As members are aware, this is a fairly small part of the Australian market, but in their nievity of calling for this ban, some environmentalists have translated this to banning EPS full stop. This misinformation is particularly frustrating and so your association is leading the charge to educate decision makers to ensure they understand the important role EPS plays in ensuring environmentally sustainability.
Don’t fool yourselves if you think this threat to ban single use EPS for food service won’t impact your business, it will. It is the thin end of the wedge and if successfully banned, environmental groups will then move onto a ban of EPS despite its thermal qualities, low carbon footprint and cost saving advantages.
So for 2017 the good fight will continue.
I’d like to thank the Directors of the Board, Nigel Ash, Graham Attwood, Andrew Cottrell, Justin Kelsey, Mike O’Brien and Chairman Simon Pickett for their hard work. I’d also like to pay tribute to Margaret Donnan and Bernie Madden who stood down this year after a significant service to the organisation.
Wishing you all the best for the Christmas period.

Becher Townshend
Executive Director 

AirPop 2017 - Australasian and AMEPS World EPS Conference

The EPSA Board have decided to host the 2017 AMEPS conference right here in Australia, with a fresh new feel and approach!
WHEN? 1st to 3rd November 2017
WHERE? Crown Casino, Melbourne
Further information will be sent around once the nitty-gritty has been locked in, but for now, clear your calendars for the EPS event of the year!


EPSA’s response to The Good Guys issue:

Subject:  Staff evacuated from The Good Guys, Ipswich, Queensland, having been overcome by fumes.

Reported: October 22nd 2016.

Assumption:  The Fire Brigade incorrectly assumed that the fumes were emitted from expanded polystyrene packaging.

Outcome:  The source of the fumes was found to be a burnt-out motor on the air conditioning system.

Statement:  Properly cured Expanded Polystyrene is totally inert.
Emergency services were called to The Good Guys store at Ipswich, Queensland, when staff complained of being overcome by fumes.
Two people were hospitalised. The Scientific Unit attended to trace the cause of the problem.  The QFE representative reported they had narrowed the cause down to "...polystyrene gassing off."
This was a misinformed comment.
Upon checking later with The Good Guys management, we were advised it had nothing to do with the polystyrene packaging which had been part of their storage process for nine years.
The cause was traced to a burnt-out motor in their air conditioning system. 
The smoke from the motor had filtered through their storage area affecting staff and product in said area.
Properly cured Expanded Polystyrene is totally inert.

Would you like to become an associate member of EPSA?

Do you recycle EPS? Then you are eligible to become an associate member and participate in furthering the aims of EPSA.  

For more information email

2016 AMEPS Conference

EPSA Board member, Justin Kelsey was our representative at the 2016 AMEPS conference, which this year was held in the Philippines.

For Justin's overview of the event, head to our member's only area here and click on the folder titled 'Justins AMEPS wrap up'


Update on EPS Recycling

As we approach the end of 2016, there has been a lot of change and challenge within the EPS recycling sector.

For a full report from Board member Graham Attwood - please access his report in our Members Only section, under the 'December 2016 recycling update' category here.

Maui (Hawaii) bans EPS containers

The Maui County Council's Infrastructure and Environmental Committee have passed a bill that would prohibit the use of polystyrene food containers throughout Maui, which would start from 1 July 2018 - provided the bill is approved by the full council.

The bill was expected to be heard for the first reading on 16th December 2016, but no update is available at this time.

Click here for further information

Inquiry into the environment protection amendments (banning plastic bags, packaging and microbeads) bill 2016

The proposed amendments to this bill will ban plastic bags and microbeads, and will prohibit supermarkets from selling fresh fruit and vegetables in unnecessary plastic and foam packaging.

EPSA will be attempting to meet with the Victorian Greens party to discuss their opposition to these changes that will affect the EPS industry in Australia.

The recycled road

Richard Moore, founder of Poly Palace in New Zealand has developed a way of turning EPS into top-grade building materials, used for building part of the new Kapiti express way.

To read more about Richard’s entrepreneurial success, click here for the full article.

2017 Domestic Gas Conference

Save the date! On the 13th – 16th March, the 5th annual Australian Domestic Gas Outlook is happening.
If you wish to attend and hear from a number of leading industry, consumer, regulatory and policy-making figures you’ll need to register here.


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