The polystyrene was casually obtained for the first time in 1839, thanks to the natural polymerisation of a sample of styrene left exposed to the light. The reaction, however, was not understood until 1845. Thanks to the industrial synthesis of the styrene (1869), since then obtained only from vegetable sources, the polystyrene started to be offered as substitute of the glass and other used material at that time to produce artifacts (celluloid, ebonite and wood).
Later, after the development of the extrusion and injection molding techniques, the polystyrene has rapidly become one of the plastic materials more diffused and used in the world. In its “EXPANDED” version, it is used for the implementation of the food packaging, for industrial use and as insulation material. The styrene is exclusively composed by carbon and hydrogen, the fundamental elements of life, and they can be found in some foodstuffs like, wheat, meat, strawberries, peanuts and coffee.
The expanded polystyrene
It is a completely non-toxic material, it is therefore not dangerous for people’s health, considering that it does not release toxic substances and its migration level is irrelevant or nearly non-quantifiable.
It is perfectly hygienic
Fungus, bacteria and other micro-organism do not settle there as they don’t have any nutritional values.
It perfectly protects the product, preserving its edibility.
It’s very light
Being an expanded material, it allows a sure and easy movement, saving weight on the packaging material.
It has a very advantageous cost-benefit ratio from an environmental point of view.
Its use saves much more energy than the one employed for its own production.
It is 100% recyclable
It can be used again to produce other products.
It is a source of energy
1 kg of PSE is equal to 1,2 – 1,4 litres of combustible oil.