In a joint statement released earlier today, Ineos Styrolution and Trinseo have announced that they are advancing plans from the planning process to the design phase to build what they are calling a ‘first-of-its-kind polystyrene recycling plant based on depolymerisation’ in Wingles, in the north of France.
The facility will operate at commercial scale, with a processing capacity of to 50 tons per day of post-consumer polystyrene feedstock. It is expected to be fully operational by mid-2023.
The companies will evaluate two different technology pyrolysis-based concepts during the conceptual design phase, one from Agilyx and the other from UK-based Recycling Technologies in terms of quality, efficiency and adaptation to different waste streams.
The new facility will mark a step change in polystyrene recycling in Europe. According to Nicolas Joly, vice president, Plastics & Feedstocks at Trinseo and President of the industry-led Styrenics Circular Solutions initiative, the plant will be part of establishing a ‘novel recycling infrastructure for styrenics in Europe together with key players from across the entire value chain’.
The plastics-to-plastics depolymerisation technology converts polystyrene food packaging waste directly back into its original liquid monomer, which then can be repolymerised into recycled polystyrene for the same high-quality end applications, including food contact applications much like virgin polystyrene.
The new plant represents a significant commitment of capital and resources, said Sven Riechers, vice president, Business Management, Standard Products EMEA at Ineos Styrolution, as well as a major milestone in closing the loop with food grade recycled content.
“It forms part of Ineos Styrolution’s and Trinseo’s commitments to use, on average, 30% recycled content in products destined for polystyrene packaging in Europe by 2025,” he emphasised.
Trinseo and INEOS Styrolution are both founding members of Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), the value chain initiative to increase the circularity of styrenics.