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Deal offers scope for better PS recycling

One of the leading innovators in chemical recycling has struck a deal with the huge Ineos outfit to develop the processing of scrap polystyrene (PS) in Europe.

The joint development agreement between Ineos Styrolution and UK-based Recycling Technologies (RT) follows joint research and a trial process between the two companies, including the processing of PS on RT’s Mark II test reactor.

Both companies will now advance this depolymerisation solution based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed technology. RT’s RT7000 converts film and laminated plastics into Plaxx, oil used as a feedstock for new plastic production. The equipment is modular and small-scale, designed to fit onto existing waste treatment and recycling sites. 

The partners believe depolymerisation has the potential to close the loop, creating a circular economy for PS making the material a more valuable polymer. ‘This recycled PS has the potential to meet the high specifications demanded for food packaging regulations making it attractive to the food industry, their joint statement declares.

Ineos Styrolution employs approximately 3 600 people across 20 production sites in ten countries. Vice-president Sven Riechers says: ‘RT’s fluidised bed technology is a very promising technology to drive our joint agenda forward. I am looking forward to a fruitful collaboration in the interest of the environment, our customers and the consumers.’

Adrian Griffiths, RT ceo, adds: ‘This partnership creates the basis for a more circular economy in PS allowing its users to achieve their challenging recycling targets set by all their stakeholders. To date we have focused on the recycling of mixed plastic waste, this initiative will allow us to develop and expand our feedstock recycling technology solutions to address a new and important market, recycling PS.’

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