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Plastic pollution is quickly becoming one of the greatest threats to our environment, with 8 million tonnes of plastic entering our oceans each year. Since its emergence in the 1950s, 79% of all plastic has ended up in landfills or the environment. BUT, like most plastics, expanded polystyrene is in fact 100% recyclable.

There is therefore NO excuse for not recycling EPS.

The sad truth though, is that unlike paper and glass, there are almost no curb-side collections for polystyrene. Any recycling points at Household Waste and Recycling sites are also few and far between. This means that EPS invariably ends up in the black bin, before being carried off to landfill.

Here at Custompac, we DO recycle EPS... and have been for over 40 years.



Since establishing in 1976, we have been continually developing our recycling processes and techniques, to make more efficient use of our waste and to help our customers do the same.

Continual investment in the latest recycling equipment available, has allowed us to develop our ECO Range of polystyrene, that can tolerate an extremely high recycled content.

Because we are able to incorporate such high scrap percentages into our ECO Range, we are able to pass along savings to our customers.

How It's Done

Our factory generates ZERO EPS waste.

Scrap brought in from third parties is broken down into 1cm cubes and reintroduced back into the system, to produce new blocks.

These blocks normally contain between 35% and 55% recycled content, but tests have shown that we can achieve up to 80%, without any serious degradation to the final product.

Our long term vision is to develop 100% recycled material.


ECO40 - Low Density Packaging Grade / 45% Recycled Content

ECO70 - Medium Density Packaging Grade / 35% Recycled Content

ECO100 - High Density Packaging Grade / 35% Recycled Content

Find out more about our different grades HERE

Unwanted Scrap?

If you have any unwanted EPS, don't send it to landfill, send it back to us!

Polystyrene can be recycled indefinitely. If customers send back their 'scrap' repeatedly, providing it is of a good standard (clean, undecorated and dry), we can put it back through the manufacturing process.

As long as the polystyrene is clean and free from contaminants like paint and tape, we can recycle it here at our factory.

No amount of polystyrene is too big or too small! Either drop it off, send it to us, or for larger amounts we can collect from the Yorkshire area.

Get In Touch

Get involved in our recycling process!

Please let us have details of the waste that you would like to have recycled, including approximate volume and some photos if possible, so we can ensure that the material can be reintroduced into our system.

You can get in touch by...

Visiting: Our CONTACT page.

Calling: 01977 519339


The Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT)

The UK Plastic Tax took effect from the 1st April 2022. Companies who import or manufacture plastic will have to pay £200 in tax, per tonne of plastic.

The government say that PPT encourages the use of recycled plastic instead of virgin materials. However, it could be argued that the tax falls short as it is part of the government's general tax take, when it could be used to fund the development of recycling (including EPS recycling), in the UK.

No. The tax only applies to plastic packaging which contains less than 30% recycled plastic.

Exemptions also include:

- Transport packaging to import goods (e.g. pallet wrap around an imported pallet of goods).

- Packaging set aside for non-packaging use (e.g. silage film).

- The immediate packaging of licensed human medicine.

- Packaging used in aircraft, ship and rail goods stores.

We are required to submit details of our plastic packaging production three times a year and then pay tax on any products that do not contain 30% or more recycled content. Fortunately, as our recycling system is well established, the number of products effected is limited.

Unfortunately, Custompac products that are subject to the plastic packaging tax will have had a price increase, to cover the extra charges we face. As prices on our website have therefore already taken the tax into account, there is nothing extra to pay on prices displayed.

The vast majority of our products contain more than 30% recycled material, which means we don't have to increase our prices to incorporate the PPT. Our range of ECO products is always growing and now includes products like sheep's wool cool boxes, starch loose fill peanuts, 100% recycled foam and corrugated cardboard. If you would like help on making your product eco-friendly, contact us HERE.

How Do You Reuse Yours?

Our Polystyrene HoCo Boxes are designed to be durable and last for years. However, if you feel they have come to the end of their life as a cool box, they don't need to end up in landfill.

EPS boxes are 100% recyclable (providing they are contaminant free) and they also have loads of alternative uses!

  1. Planters for the garden. Our boxes are deep and perfect for carrots, leeks and mushrooms!
  2. Break into big chunks and place in the bottom of window boxes, pots, tubs or hanging baskets, under the compost. It helps with drainage, so plants don't become waterlogged. It also reduces the risk of roots freezing in winter - EPS is a great insulator!
  3. Break into tiny pieces and incorporate into garden compost. Soil will be more aerated, you'll use less compost and the soil will be lighter with better drainage.
  4. Take on a picnic to keep your food hot or cold!
  5. Homemade hedgehog / cat house.
  6. A box for transporting valuables when moving house - EPS is a great shock absorber.
  7. Junk modelling with the kids!

What do you do with yours? Send us any pictures to and as a thank you, we'll send you a voucher code!

OR, if you'd like to recycle your box (contaminant free!), we'll be happy to have it back to recycle, here in Castleford. 

Please let us have details of the waste that you would like to have recycled, including approximate volume and some photos if possible, so we can ensure that the material can be reintroduced into our system.

You can get in touch by...

Visiting: Our CONTACT page.

Calling: 01977 519339


EPS Facts

  1. EPS is 100% recyclable.
  2. EPS is a good example of the efficient use of natural resources - it is 98% air. This makes it extremely lightweight!
  3. The manufacture of EPS does not generate any risk to health or to the environment.
  4. EPS does not damage the ozone layer, as it does not use CFCs or HCFCs in the manufacturing process.
  5. There is no pollution to the surface or underground water supplies near an EPS plant, because atmospheric and liquid emissions are very low during the manufacture of EPS.
  6. The monomer 'styrene', used in the manufacture of expandable polystyrene, has been manufactured for decades and is used for a wide range of plastics and plastic products. Styrene also exists naturally and can even be found in many foodstuffs, including strawberries, beans, nuts, beer, wine, coffee beans and cinnamon.
  7. The characteristics of EPS make it ideal for use as a lightweight filler, insulation, as an element for decorating or imaginative touches, as a lightweight filling material in roads, to facilitate land drainage and so on. 
  8. Due to its closed air-filled cell structure that inhibits the passage of heat and cold, a high capacity for thermal insulation is achieved. The use of EPS for thermal insulation in the construction industry contributes to significant savings on heating and cooling buildings.
  9. EPS packaging protects products, helping to reduce wastage and its lightweight nature helps to reduce vehicle fuel consumption.
  10. The material has a high energy absorption index. This makes it the ideal material for protecting sensitive products during transport and storage.
  11. EPS is completely inert and innocuous. Fungi and bacteria cannot easily grow on EPS, which means it is ideal for packaging food or pharmaceuticals.
  12. EPS does not absorb moisture and its thermal and mechanical properties are unaffected by damp, humidity or moisture.