Ultimately, the solution aims at achieving circularity for polystyrene reducing post-consumer waste, saving valuable resources with a reduced environmental footprint.
The joint project between Ineos Styrolution and Sirap focuses on the use of polystyrene that is recycled through depolymerisation, a process that converts post-consumer polystyrene waste back to its monomers. This agreement positions Sirap as a first mover in the XPS food packaging sector. The advantage of this process is the generation of high-quality virgin polystyrene ultimately for food-related use. This means that recycled polystyrene will have the same properties as the initial polystyrene – including complying with stringent food contact regulations.
Ineos Styrolution and Sirap have agreed on a very ambitious time schedule with first samples of recycled polystyrene from lab-scale facilities being analysed still in 2019.
Stefano Lazzari, CEO at Sirap, comments: “Sirap will act as pilot leader within a wide group of XPS packaging producers. We have been engaged for years in redesigning our processes and products in harmony with the guidelines of the circular economy. This particular project will bring the family of extruded polystyrene foam containers, which are light and high in performance, to a circular solution before the 2025 deadline, thus becoming one of the best products in term of environmental impact.”
“The collaboration with Sirap, as pilot leader in the XPS food packaging sector, is a significant step in the right direction,” adds Sven Riechers, Vice President Business Management, Standard Business EMEA at Ineos. “It is exciting to work with a giant in the industry and first mover like Sirap. We are convinced that chemical recycling is the way forward to produce high-quality polystyrene, while reducing post-consumer waste and reducing the use of valuable raw materials at the same time.”