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Recycling
Recycle for Scotland

What to do with polystyrene?

03 APR 20 | 1 minute read

If you’ve ever received a parcel delivery then chances are you’ve had to delve into a pile of packing peanuts to excavate the product you actually ordered.

Then there’s the expanded polystyrene, with its tight grip on your flat-packed furniture which will inevitably break apart leaving you vacuuming up tiny polystyrene balls for the rest of the year.

Polystyrene is not the easiest to recycle so many councils won’t accept it in your recycling bins, but read on for some other ideas.

Household recycling collection

not currently recycled

No thank you, expanded polystyrene - including take-away food containers - isn’t commonly recycled and should be placed in the general bin. Or, try the tips below for some unusual things to do with your leftover polystyrene packaging.

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Recycling facilities exist

Some councils accept polystyrene at household waste recycling centres. Check with your council directly.

What can you do?

  1. Create raised flower beds for the garden by reusing large, molded polystyrene pieces from big-box appliances

  2. Save polystyrene and reuse for repackaging items

  3. Reuse polystyrene chips at the bottom of plant pots in place of stones and pebbles for water drainage

  4. Create non-snagging knitting markers by cutting small shaped from thin polystyrene trays

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.

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