Polystyrene proven to be one of the best sortable plastics in the waste stream
Under the umbrella of Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), Tomra¹, a recognised leader in waste collection via deposit systems and sorting, has recently completed tests revealing that polystyrene (PS) is not only made for recycling, but also made for sorting.
With Tomra’s near-infrared (NIR) sensor technology, post-consumer plastic waste was sorted in a multi-step process including initial sorting from post consumer waste, grinding into smaller flakes, washing, drying and flake sorting. The resulting purity of polystyrene turned out to be higher than 99.9%.
Jürgen Priesters, SVP, Circular Economy at Tomra, sees one reason for the good results is certain properties of the material: “Styrenic compounds have a unique signal that enable easy and very precise sorting, an advantage which some of the other polymers do not have.”
Tomra’s findings prove that today’s sorting technologies achieve a purity level beyond what is required to successfully recycle polystyrene through both mechanical as well as advanced recycling processes. Along with INEOS Styrolution’s investments in multiple recycling projects, this takes the company another step closer to developing closed-loop solutions for styrenics.
INEOS Styrolution continues along its path to build the best recycled ABS in the world² and chemically recycled polystyrene at commercial scale³. The company is investing in multiple projects in Europe and in the Americas to set up recycling facilities based on the depolymerisation process.
¹ See: https://youtu.be/Ngn79ny0e3k
ABOUT INEOS STYROLUTION
INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including Automotive, Electronics, Household, Construction, Healthcare, Packaging and Toys/ Sports/ Leisure. In 2018, sales were at 5.4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,500 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.
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