Polystyrene exists as a preferred packaging solution because compared to alternatives:
Polystyrene's characteristics would seem to negate it's globally accepted recycling solution based on:
The value of YOUR post consumer packaging as a commodity (in most cases) is less than the cost of the fuel YOU will use in transporting YOUR waste to the recycling drop-off.
Polystyrene destined for export as a recycling commodity must reach the recycler clean, white and uncontaminated. Allowable contaminants are less than 2% paper labels. Meeting export specifications requires personnel to sort and separate contamination which further erodes the recovered value.
While the New Zealand economy spends millions of dollars each week more than it earns, it's reasonable to conclude sea freight is coming full and leaving much less so, and only in those circumstances could shipping rates possibly support polystyrene recovery from the far reaches of the globe such as New Zealand.
For Asian manufacturers, buying foreign sourced waste including the freight cost, is cheaper than locally sourced virgin commodity, which raises the question as to why New Zealand polystyrene manufacturers don't innovate to use the local waste resource locally in selected product lines? Answer : Poly Palace.
One ton of consumer polystyrene = more than 5 full B-train truck and trailers = ? hours to sort and separate = $550/ton export value
or = $5000 value re-manufactured as Palace Porous for the local economy