The EPS Industry Alliance (www.epsindustry.org) has been established as a new trade association to represent the expanded polystyrene (EPS) industry. The EPS Molders Association (EPSMA) and the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (AFPR), two separate organizations previously representing distinct EPS market segments, have consolidated their resources to create an organization that will represent the entire industry. In addition to EPSMA and AFPR, the Plastic Loose Fill Council (PLFC) has also been integrated in to the EPS Industry Alliance.

“After years of working separately, often towards common goals, consolidating EPSMA and AFPR just made sense,” says EPS Industry Alliance Executive Director Betsy Steiner. “We see tremendous potential for this merger to advance the EPS industry”. Prior to consolidating, EPSMA and AFPR represented EPS building and construction and packaging applications, respectively. While these areas embody the majority of EPS use, growth in other fields – such as automotive parts, manufacturing components and safety equipment – made a strong case for the EPS industry to begin operating in tandem. Many companies, e.g. Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart, use EPS across a broad range of their operations, making a compelling case to provide a central resource on the various EPS uses and applications. Providing this resource will support the EPS Industry Alliance (EPS-IA) mission to advance innovative EPS product solutions that contribute to a sustainable future.

The combined strength and experience of EPMSA and AFPR will create an organization well attuned to serve a field as broad as the EPS industry itself, which is comprised of companies with a wide range of product solutions. EPS product information will be more streamlined and accessible for EPS end users. The new EPS-IA website, www.epsindustry.org, will serve as the go-to source for EPS information and provides resources for everyone from architects to packaging engineers and recycling professionals. The organization will continue to dedicate resources to specific interest areas but will now have the ability to address important industry-wide issues with a single voice

The EPS Industry Alliance has employed an entirely new governance model to provide maximum effectiveness and flexibility in support of key EPS industry initiatives. The board of directors, chaired by Bob Butkus of Atlas EPS, gains its strength from a wide representation of members throughout the EPS supply chain and is better aligned with today’s marketplace trends. Several new committees will manage issues that will benefit from more specialized representation. The EPS Sustainability Committee is already in place and will oversee key environmental programs such as life cycle analysis, green building, and recycling. Specific EPS applications, such as structural insulated panels and insulating concrete forms, will form special interest groups to further advance these unique applications.

The EPS EXPO, long run jointly by EPSMA and AFPR, will take place next week in Indianapolis as the official launch ceremony of the EPS Industry Alliance.