New closed-loop North American polystyrene recycling consortium

New closed-loop North American polystyrene recycling consortium
Today at the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy, three industry leaders involved with post-consumer packaging recovery - ReVital Polymers, Pyrowave and INEOS Styrolution – announced a strategic partnership to recycle polystyrene packaging collected in consumer curbside and depot recycling systems as well as other sources such as restaurants, offices, schools and universities.

The collaboration will use advanced recycling technology pioneered by Pyrowave that will close the loop by recycling single-serve polystyrene packaging and utilizing recycled polystyrene in the manufacturing of new products and packaging. This Canadian solution will not only reduce the amount of polystyrene packaging going to landfill, but will also address the global problem of plastic pollution in marine environments.

Polystyrene is mostly known for its use in foam and rigid packaging, containers, cups and utensils commonly used for food and beverage delivery in supermarkets and take-out food service. By enabling this ground-breaking recycling chain, ReVital, Pyrowave and INEOS Styrolution will change the way post-consumer polystyrene packaging is recycled in an integrated, restorative and regenerative manner that maintains the material’s highest utility and value within a circular economy.

ReVital Polymers Inc., located in Sarnia, Ontario, is a member of the Circular Polymers Group, and a North American leader in processing post-consumer plastics. ReVital will install Pyrowave’s Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD) technology as part of its plastics recycling process. Pyrowave’s award-winning microwave machine will convert ReVital’s sorted post-consumer polystyrene packaging to a liquid that contains plastic building blocks, called monomers, which will then be used by INEOS Styrolution.

INEOS Styrolution is a global leader in styrenics that manufactures and supplies polystyrene for various food service packaging applications and consumer goods products. INEOS Styrolution will process the material from ReVital and Pyrowave in a final step to return it to virgin resin that can be made into any new polystyrene application. Pyrowave’s technology, the connecting link between the ReVital and INEOS Styrolution, provides a process that makes polystyrene infinitely recyclable even with colour additives and food residue.

“This is a game changer for consumers and for municipal and industrial, commercial and institutional recycling programs,” said Keith Bechard, Chief Commercial Officer at ReVital Polymers Inc. “Polystyrene packaging, regardless of colour, food residue or odours, can be successfully added to recycling programs. When these materials are shipped to ReVital, they will be recycled into a high-value material that closes the loop. For ReVital, this project is an opportunity to increase our range of acceptable feedstock, increase the recovery rate for residential and commercial recycling programs and increase our value proposition to customers.”

The three companies are committed to reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfill or contaminates the world’s waterways and oceans.