OUR COMMITTMENT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
As a family run business, we care deeply about the future of coming generations, which is why we have made sustainability one of our company’s guiding principles.
Ten years ago, we installed a compactor, a machine that completely recycles polystyrene to give it new life and so increase our capacity for sustainable development.
The process is very simple: waste material is fed into the machine and then crushed and compressed into small blocks. These are then given to selected companies which take the polystyrene back to its primary state, ready for a new life.
There is ZERO polystyrene waste at Rialma, everything is reused and recycled, with zero waste. We recover polystyrene that should be thrown away and repurpose it. Despite what is generally believed, with due precautions even polystyrene can be recycled without impacting the environment around us.
We at Rialma don’t stop here, we are always looking to the future. The coming years will see a further evolution as far as environmental sustainability is concerned. At their express request, our customers will be able to buy polystyrene products containing a percentage of recycled material.
EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE AND ITS COMPOSITION
Let’s look more closely at the composition of expanded polystyrene. Commonly known as styrofoam, it is a styrene polymer. It is obtained through a chemical process that transforms hydrocarbon into a solid element by altering its structure. EPS is then processed with the use of just water vapour, which means its manufacture and use do not pose a danger to human health. Polystyrene can be considered a highly sustainable, as well as a useful and versatile material, since the amount of styrene present in any object made of polystyrene is very low – only 2%, while the remaining 98% is made up of air. Not only, expanded polystyrene is non-toxic, does not contain or emit compounds such as CFCs and HCFCs that are harmful to the ozone layer, and is 100% recyclable. It is for these reasons that many studies take it as a model for its environmental cost / performance ratio.
Demand for compacted EPS from recycling is constantly growing, so much so that it exceeds the quantity available on the market. Since EPS is completely recyclable, any waste is recovered and introduced into the recycling process.
It is interesting to take a more specific look at the data. In 2018, recycled EPS reached about 25% of the quantity placed on the market, and this percentage is set to grow.
OUR RECYCLED AND RECYCLABLE PACKAGING
The package you receive will contain EPS (expanded polystyrene) chips, made up of 100% recycled materials and which can be completely re-introduced into the recycling process. Not only that, you can reuse them to protect your packages when you need to ship. Remember that polystyrene waste can be reused by the end consumer and so replace virgin raw materials. This process eliminates waste of materials and ensures greater sustainability.
Furthermore, our chips are also an important energy source for waste-to-energy plants. In addition to burning waste, they convert the heat generated by combustion into energy which will then be employed for other uses. The chips have a high calorific value and can be completely incinerated.
TOGETHER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
In your small way, you too can help the environment – take your waste to recycling centres or send it back and we will compact it! Many companies now rely on us for this.
CONAI (National Packaging Consortium) has drawn up a table on how to recycle packing materials correctly in Italy, click here to find out more. We recommend you consult national guidelines for styrofoam disposal in your country.
EPS INSULATING PANELS AND ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS
That’s not all, proven studies have shown the excellent environmental performance of EPS, both in terms of total energy needs and as a potential indicator of the greenhouse effect. In particular, EPS added to graphite ranks among the best insulating materials from the point of view of environmental sustainability. Thermal insulation of buildings with EPS leads to substantial energy savings and a strong reduction in CO2 emissions into the air (up to 50% less).
The use of EPS insulating panels drastically reduces fuel consumption during its life cycle: for every 1 kilogram of oil used for the production of an EPS insulating panel, about 200 will be saved in terms of lower fuel consumption for the entire duration of its life cycle.