Canadian Packaging

INEOS Styrolution partners with EGN and Tomra to recycle post-consumer polystyrene waste into food-contact polystyrene

By INEOS Styrolution   

General

Process enables closed-loop circularity for polystyrene (PS) at food-contact-quality levels

Frankfurt, July 4, 2023

INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics; Tomra, the world leader in waste transformation; and EGN Entsorgungsgesellschaft Niederrhein, a leading recycling company, have today announced a groundbreaking project to convert post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste into recycled polystyrene for food-packaging applications.

EGN, a subsidiary of the SWK AG, will build a green field state-of-the-art advanced mechanical recycling facility processing with a capacity to process 40 kt of post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste per year. It is expected to be the first large-scale facility of its kind. EGN will manage sorting and washing, while INEOS Styrolution will be responsible for the “super-cleaning” purification process to comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requirements for food-contact applications.

The new facility will be located in Krefeld, Germany. It is expected to start up in mid-2025, allowing INEOS Styrolution to start serving customers at commercial scale.

An agreement with Tomra to provide sorting technology and feedstock completes the project. Tomra Feedstock will collect post-consumer polystyrene waste from disposed food packaging and deliver it to the new site in Krefeld, Germany.

Pierre Vincent, Managing Director of EGN, says: “We share INEOS Styrolution’s vision of closing the loop for food-contact quality polystyrene. I expect the dairy industry to especially benefit from this new offering by allowing them to mechanically recycle from yogurt pot to yogurt pot, creating a true circular economy for this material.”

Jürgen Priesters, Managing Director of Tomra Feedstock, comments: “We are proud to contribute to this first commercial-scale polystyrene mechanical recycling facility for food-contact applications. Polystyrene has the right composition to be recycled mechanically for food applications. The mission of Tomra Feedstock is to keep PS in true circularity.”

Steve Harrington, CEO of INEOS Styrolution, adds: “This is an exciting step forward for our industry. Our three companies bring complementary expertise to this project, and because of this unique collaboration, we will be able to provide customers high-performing circular polystyrene produced at a significantly lower carbon footprint. Already, we are seeing high interest from customers and brand owners to secure long-term contracts.”

Key facts about recycling of polystyrene
The advanced mechanical recycling process benefits from the inherent properties of polystyrene, making it the material of choice for real circularity.

PS is proven to be one of the best sortable plastics in the waste stream and is one of only two polymers that can achieve food-contact qualities with mechanical recycling. The material offers infinite recyclability, retaining its property profile after many mechanical recycling cycles at virgin quality levels. Due to its properties, PS offers very low contamination uptake in the waste stream.

It is expected that a significant percentage of recycled food-packaging material will be realized in a very short time frame. Investment in commercial scaling of PS recycling will lead to a growing market share and a reduction in packaging taxes and licensing fees in countries where such frameworks are in place.

About INEOS Styrolution
INEOS Styrolution is the world’s leading styrenics supplier, with a high-performing portfolio of styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialty products. With more than 90 years of innovation in materials science, INEOS Styrolution is focused on customer satisfaction with differentiated solutions that provide a competitive edge as well as investments in technology that enable closed-loop recyclability for styrenics while reducing our carbon emissions. INEOS Styrolution applications can be found in many everyday products across multiple industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging, and toys/sports. Operating 16 production sites in nine countries, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS Group Limited and employs approximately 3,100 people. Sales were 6.6 billion Euros in 2022.

More information: www.ineos-styrolution.com

Follow us on Twitter (@styrolution).

In 2023, INEOS marks 25 years since its inception
On May 5, 1998, the first deal was signed to buy former BP site at Antwerp from INSPEC under the INEOS name, with 300 staff at a cost of £80m. Since this first deal, INEOS has completed hundreds of deals in petrochemicals, oil and gas, and energy, growing to a $65 billion revenue group with 36 businesses in 29 countries and 26,000 staff.

Over recent years, INEOS has expanded beyond the industrial heart with investment in consumer brands, sports and charities.

What defines INEOS is its scale, people and culture; asking the big questions to tackle global challenges — with grit, rigour and humour. And with remarkable people, achieving extraordinary outcomes.

Twenty-five years is a moment in time, to look back on what has been built and to look forward to what is to come. INEOS is ambitious and continues to look for new opportunities and go for growth. Follow the INEOS journey and see where it leads.

About EGN
EGN is a full-service waste-management provider for waste collection, waste transport and recycling, thus active along parts of the waste-management value chain. These services are provided to trade, industrial and private customers and municipalities. In 2022, EGN group sales were at 300 million Euros with 1.100 EGN employers at 18 sites in Germany.

More information: www.entsorgung-niederrhein.de

SWK group is a national player in energy and waste management that is 100 per cent owned by the municipality of Krefeld. In 2022, sales were at 1.7 billion Euros, and SWK employs approximately 3,400 people.

About Tomra
Tomra was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with the design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today, Tomra provides technology-led solutions that enable the circular economy with advanced collection and sorting systems that optimize resource recovery and minimize waste in the food, recycling and, mining industries and is committed to building a more sustainable future.

Tomra has approximately 100,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of about 9.9 billion NOK in 2020. The Group employs about 4,300 globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: TOM). For further information about Tomra, please see www.tomra.com

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