Foamed PET has the look and feel of polystyrene, but it is made from PET plastic.  Never heard of it?  You’re not the only one!  The two largest MRFs (materials recovery facility) in California and the largest MRF in the U.S. never heard it either – and don’t recycle it.  In fact, the entire state of NY does not accept ANY material that is foamed.  

The reason?  

  • It’s a challenge to collect.

  • It doesn’t go through the systems.

  • It breaks up into pieces.

  • It’s lightweight, so there is no money in recycling the material.

Just because it is made from PET plastic doesn’t mean it is easily recycled because it is foam and behaves as such. So, just as EPS (foamed plastic) can be “technically” deemed recyclable, that is rarely — if ever — the case for either EPS or foamed PET in the real world.