Marko Foam picks up your waste foam

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The beauty of the Waste to Waves program is that the foam collection occurs on the “back end” of a normal business. Marko Foam drives all over Southern California delivering its surfboard blanks to shapers and builders.  On the return trip home, they can fill up the empty van with waste EPS foam collected at surf shops.Thus the cost of shipping foam is already paid for by sales of a different product.

Why is this important?  Because it’s actually very expensive to recycle EPS foam. This is the primary reason why EPS is generally not recycled in comparison to the widespread recycling of aluminum and cardboard. EPS foam is 90% air, so only a small amount of foam will fill up a large truck. Since recycled foam is bought and sold by the pound, there is a very high relative cost of fuel and labor  vs. revenue from EPS recycled material sales.  In this case, the transportation costs are paid for by the business of selling finished surfboard blanks.

Marko started collecting waste EPS foam from their customers in 2006, and came out with their first 100% recycled EPS blank in 2009. They certainly deserve credit for being a leader in sustainable surfing.