- Global Locations -


Future Market Insights, Inc.

Christiana Corporate, 200
Continental Drive, Suite 401,
Newark, Delaware - 19713,
United States

T: +1-845-579-5705


Future Market Insights, Inc.

616 Corporate Way, Suite 2-9018,
Valley Cottage, NY 10989, United States

T: +1-347-918-3531


Future Market Insights

1602-6 Jumeirah Bay X2 Tower, Plot No: JLT-PH2-X2A,
Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates


Future Market Insights

3rd Floor, 207 Regent Street,
W1B 3HH London
United Kingdom

T: + 44 (0) 20 8123 9659
D: +44 (0) 20 3287 4268

Asia Pacific

Future Market Insights

IndiaLand Global Tech Park, Unit UG-1, Behind Grand HighStreet, Phase 1, Hinjawadi, MH, Pune – 411057, India

Expandable polystyrene is derived from petrochemicals. It is a rigid cellular plastic, which is mixed with an expanding or a blowing agent for expansion. It is extensively used for packaging, construction, and insulation applications. Easy forming and molding properties make these materials suitable for packaging for consumer electronic or industrial goods. Vibration damping, thermal insulation, and impact resistance properties make these suitable for use in construction applications as well.

Surging construction activity owing to the rising focus on infrastructure development is promoting the demand for novel construction materials, and this is where expanded polystyrene (EPS) could shine bright. The excellent insulation properties of EPS are making it a mainstay in the construction industry and opening new avenues of growth for expanded polystyrene suppliers.

  • In April 2023, Energystore, an innovative insulation company based in the United Kingdom, announced the launch of a new insulation product range made from injected EPS foam beads for use in party walls, timber frames, etc. Energystore+ products are designed to make thermally efficient homes while following a sustainable approach.

Despite the debate and scepticism around expandable polystyrene, it is considered to be a recyclable material with considerably less impact on the environment than we believe. The material is non-biodegradable but also does not react with air or water to create larger contamination issues like other products; however, its disposal could be an issue that is yet to be solved.

Recycling expandable polystyrene is a major prospect that many manufacturers and suppliers are focusing on as they jump on the sustainability bandwagon that has been expanding around the world.

  • In January 2023, NexKemia, an expandable polystyrene (EPS) manufacturer based in Canada, announced that it had finalized the purchase of a polystyrene scrap collection and recycling organization called Eco-Captation. NexKemia expanded its recycling expertise and gained points for a sustainable approach through this acquisition.
  • In August 2022, Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), a Brussels-based joint value chain initiative focused on promoting the circularity of styrenics, welcomed Styropek, a leading expandable polystyrene manufacturer in the North American region. Styropek and SCS are expected to work together to scale their recycling, sorting, and collection capabilities to promote sustainability going forward.

On the flip side, the growing availability and launch of alternatives to EPS are expected to create some sort of unrest among expanded polystyrene providers around the world over the coming years.

Packaging is the largest application segment of the expandable polystyrene market.Developments in supply chains, and retail and sales channels have increased the importance of packaging significantly. Rising safety concerns about goods handling and transportation across distances has increased the demand forthese materials. High or food-grade polystyrene is increasingly being used for packaging of food such as ice creams, frozen meat and vegetables.

Other additional properties of expandable polystyrene such as compressive strength, shock absorption, resistance to humidity, chemical resistance, reasonable resistance to rupture, lightweight, and low water absorption have led to innovations in its applications and end use such as household furniture, sports helmets, load bearing insulated panels, frame support structures, sports car seats and toys.

EPS is recyclable,which makes it suitable for use in high volumes across the applications mentioned above. Increasing demand from end-use segments and innovations in packaging are expected to boost consumption of this material. The supply of this material is fragmented and the market is dominated by a number of small regional players and a few global players. The market for expandable polystyrene is expected to grow between 8% and 10% in the next five years. Major players in the market are BASF, Nova Chemicals, Sulzer, Knauf Industries andInsulfoam LLC.