How can circular polystyrene best meet the growing demand for high quality recyclates suitable for food contact applications? What are the achievements so far in fulfilling the intrinsic circularity of styrenics and what are the milestones? Which environmental footprint of the different polystyrene recycling technologies can be expected? How does recycled polystyrene compare with virgin polystyrene in the production process of food packaging?
Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), the value chain initiative to increase the circularity of styrenic polymers, together with Packaging Europe, will address these issues in an online event at 10.30am CET on Thursday 26 November. This moderated event with interactive dialogue, presentations and Q&A will feature the following topics:
The event will be moderated by Chrissi Schönfelder, Chair of Advocacy & Communications, Styrenics Circular Solutions.
We welcome your questions and we invite you to submit a question in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to welcoming you and encourage you to register in advance.
We are at a breakthrough milestone in styrenics’ contribution to the circular economy. Polystyrene has a unique capacity for full circularity and its inherent properties make it ideal for closed loop food contact recycling. Recycled polystyrene of food grade quality combines all the well-known application, processing and environmental advantages of polystyrene, with the added value of being a fully circular polymer. Out of our portfolio of recycling technologies two are in the spotlight at this event: mechanical recycling and depolymerization. Each of them extends closed-loop food contact recycling beyond PET bottles to new food grade applications and thus make polystyrene an important contributor to the EU’s recycling targets. We are now truly at a stage where we can say, we can go in a closed loop from yoghurt cup to yoghurt cup with recycled polystyrene over and over again. This is excellent news for the market.
The depolymerisation of polystyrene has proven to be the perfect marriage of material and recycling technology, proving polystyrene’s unique intrinsic capability for full circularity. The plastics-to-plastics depolymerisation technology converts polystyrene packaging waste directly back into its original liquid monomer, which then can be repolymerised into recycled polystyrene (r-PS), or serve as a recycled monomer building block for other styrenic polymers. r-PS from depolymerisation is identical to the virgin polystyrene and can thus be used in the same high-quality applications even for food contact. With proven technology already in place, plans are underway to build the first-of-its-kind full scale commercial polystyrene recycling plant based on depolymerisation in France, capable of processing up to 50 tons-per-day of post-consumer polystyrene feedstock and expected to be fully operational by mid-2023.
Same abstract for all under this agenda item! For converters, it has been a momentous step to test in the existing facilities whether recycled polystyrene can be used as a drop-in solution in place of virgin polystyrene. Recycled polystyrene, without any equipment changes, behaves equally to virgin polystyrene throughout our entire production process, from extrusion to thermoforming and in form, fill and seal. This drop-in solution is transformative for the circularity of polystyrene and the benefits will be felt all along the value chain.