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In the heart of Tasmania, a significant stride towards environmental sustainability and innovation in aquaculture packaging has been taken. Polyfoam, a family-owned business renowned for its contribution to the packaging industry, has officially opened its new Westbury production facility. This development is not just a testament to the company’s growth but a beacon of progress for the entire Expanded Polystyrene Australia (EPSA) community and the aquaculture sector at large. Learn about how expanded polystyrene packaging in the aquaculture industry is revolutionizing sustainability and efficiency from catch to consumer.

Doubling Down on Sustainability

The new facility, inaugurated by Premier Jeremy Rockliff (pictured below right), marks a pivotal moment in Polyfoam’s journey. With the capacity to double its production of salmon boxes, Polyfoam is set to bolster Tasmania’s salmon aquaculture sector significantly. This sector is a cornerstone of the local economy, and with Polyfoam’s increased production capabilities, it is poised for even greater success.

However, the highlight of Polyfoam’s new venture is its state-of-the-art recycling service for polystyrene products, situated in Westbury, central north of Tasmania. This initiative is a game-changer for the environment, offering a sustainable solution to the disposal of EPS waste. From white goods packaging to produce boxes, Polyfoam’s facility will transform used polystyrene into valuable manufactured building products, thus reducing landfill and paving the way for a more sustainable future.

Polyfoam opens a new expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging recycling facility in Westbury, Tasmania Premier Jeremy Rockliff opens the new EPS recycling facility in Westbury, Tasmania

The Critical Role of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in Aquaculture

The opening of Polyfoam’s new facility coincides with a growing recognition of the vital role that EPS packaging plays in the aquaculture industry. The EPS Industry Alliance highlights the unique challenges of maintaining the cold chain for seafood, a task at which EPS excels due to its superior insulating properties.

Seafood, particularly products like salmon that are central to Tasmania’s economy, requires meticulous temperature control from catch to consumer to ensure safety, freshness, and quality. EPS packaging, with its unparalleled thermal performance, protects seafood against sudden temperature changes, ensuring that products maintain their core temperature throughout the distribution chain.

Life cycle analyses have reaffirmed the sustainability of EPS as a packaging material. Compared to alternatives like cardboard, EPS shows similar or better environmental performance, with low carbon impacts and minimal energy and water inputs during manufacturing. This makes expanded polystyrene (EPS) fish boxes an ideal choice for the seafood industry, which strives for both quality and environmental responsibility.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) seafood packaging is sustainable and100% recyclable

A Sustainable Future

Polyfoam’s investment in its new Westbury facility, approximately $10 million over four years, is a bold step towards a more sustainable and prosperous future for Tasmania. By creating up to 15 new jobs in regional Tasmania, Polyfoam is not only contributing to the local economy but also demonstrating the potential for environmental sustainability to go hand in hand with economic growth.

The facility’s recycling service is particularly commendable, offering northern Tasmanians a tangible way to participate in reducing landfills and supporting sustainable manufacturing practices. This initiative is a reflection of Polyfoam’s commitment to environmental stewardship and an example for the industry.

Polyfoam truck styrofoam boxes

Final Thoughts: Polyfoam’s Leap Forward in Sustainable Aquaculture and Recycling

The opening of Polyfoam’s new production and recycling facility is a milestone for the aquaculture sector and environmental sustainability. It underscores the importance of innovative packaging solutions like EPS in supporting the cold chain for seafood, while also highlighting the potential for recycling initiatives to transform waste into valuable resources. As we celebrate Polyfoam’s achievement, the power of our commitment to sustainability and innovation reminds us that we can drive positive change for our industry and our planet.


Want to learn more about how ESPA members are championing the recycling of expanded polystyrene (EPS) within Industry sectors? Visit our Recycling page to learn more about closed loop production.