Styrenics Circular Solutions, or SCS, announced today that Tomra had become the most recent member to join the initiative. Formally incorporated in December 2018 by a number of leading styrenics manufacturers, SCS is a value chain initiative aimed at increasing the circularity of styrenic polymers.
As SCS's eighth member, Tomra, a leading Norwegian manufacturer of advanced collection and sorting solutions, joins Coexpan, Elix Polymers, Ineos Styrolution, Repsol, Total, Trinseo and Versalis (Eni).
A globally recognised sorting specialist, Tomra's membership represents a further expansion of the initiative along the value chain - 'an important step', said Jens Kathmann, Secretary General of SCS.
Although highly recyclable, the recycling potential of styrenics has long remained untapped.
"Targeting styrenics in the waste streams as feedstock for our recycling is one of SCS’ priorities, knowing that once sourced, polystyrene is highly recyclable for high quality applications, even into food contact standards,” Kathmann said.
Moreover, it is highly sortable out of mixed plastics and easy to purify due to its low diffusion properties, according to Jürgen Priesters, SVP Circular Economy at Tomra.
SCS has identified two optimal technologies for converting used polystyrene-based products back into high-quality virgin material: depolymerisation and dissolution. Both technologies operate on the molecular level, enabling the separation of recyclable polystyrene from the stabilisers, fillers, colourants and other additives.
"We are happy to contribute with our technology and expertise to the ‘closed-loop’ recycling of styrenics so that they be reused again for the same original purpose and can play an important role in meeting Europe’s 2025 recycling targets,” Priester said.