Can You Recycle EVA Foam?
Due to its versatility, flexibility, softness, resilience, and high chemical resistance, EVA foam is quite a popular material. It can be used to create foam floor mats, cosplay costumes, and even foam stickers.
However, many of us know little about it, particularly when it comes to how to dispose of it. Fortunately, that’s where we come in.
In this article, we will answer all the common questions about EVA foam disposal.
What material is EVA foam made of?
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam is made of copolymers of vinyl acetate and ethylene. This closed-cell foam is characterized by a lot of crosslinking, resulting in a semi-rigid product.
Can you recycle EVA foam?
Yes, EVA foam can be recycled. This is usually done through mechanical recycling – a process that doesn’t interfere with the product chemically. However, recycling this foam is usually difficult and the facilities that do it are few. As such, a lot of it usually ends up in landfills.
Does EVA foam go in a recycle bin?
No, since the recycling of this foam is not readily available, you shouldn’t toss it in your recycle bin. You’re better off asking your local authorities if they can refer you to a nearby facility.
Is EVA foam biodegradable or compostable?
Since this material is derived from petroleum, it is neither biodegradable nor compostable. However, some companies have been manufacturing biodegradable versions of this foam in recent times.
Since this type of foam is just as strong and as hard as non-biodegradable foam, it has become quite popular. So much so that several shoe manufacturers have started using it for their soles.
Is EVA foam environmentally friendly?
Since it can be recycled and is free of BPA, chlorides, phenols, and other toxic chemicals, it’s usually considered an environmentally friendly alternative to PVC foam.
However, the fact that it’s still a petroleum derivative is difficult to recycle, and is non-biodegradable makes it impossible for us to say that it’s completely eco-friendly.
What can you do with scrap EVA foam?
The best thing you can do with scrap foam is to drop it off at a recycling facility. But if this isn’t a viable option where you live, you only have three options left – to reuse, burn, or throw it in your trash bin.
As far as reusing this foam goes, your best bet is using it for a DIY project such as padding your helmet.
You’ll probably still have to throw out any pieces left over after this project though – it’s easier and safer than burning them. However, it contributes to the filling of landfills, particularly since this scrap foam doesn’t break down.
Use biodegradable EVA foam
Considering how stressful it can be figuring out how to sustainably get rid of your scrap synthetic foam, it makes sense to just switch to biodegradable foam.
This way, you can ensure you get all the strengths of traditional EVA foam without harming the environment.