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Trinseo and Fernholz to Jointly Develop High Quality Recycled Polystyrene

Trinseo (NYSE: TSE), the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, announced today the initiation of a joint development project with Fernholz – a leading manufacturer of plastics packaging – to develop a high-quality Polystyrene (PS) product composed of 25% recycled material through a chemical recycling dissolution process. The collaboration is expected to have commercial viability by mid-year 2020.

At the industry renown K 2019 trade fair, Trinseo announced plans to offer PS packaging with an average of 30% recycled content to customers in Europe by 2025. This partnership with Fernholz is a key milestone in progressing closer to this pledge.

“This project with Fernholz highlights that partnership along the value chain is key to showing polystyrene’s position as a highly sustainable, fully recyclable material for every end market,” said Nicolas Joly, Global Business Director, Polystyrene and Feedstocks at Trinseo.   

Dissolution of PS is a process in which post-consumer waste is dissolved in a solvent followed by a series of purification steps, separating the polymer from additives and contaminants, resulting in a PS polymer containing recycled post-consumer waste.

“Polystyrene is, for us, a key plastic material and state of the art product for the FFS (form-fill-seal) market, which is highly used in the dairy industry,” said Uwe Fernholz, Managing Director and Owner of Fernholz Verpackungen. “We do see a great potential not only for this traditional FFS market but a rebound to other markets if we can prove the specific advantages of polystyrene in regard to recycling. We are delighted to support this project and emphasis customers to do similar.”

Trinseo is engaged in further initiatives to unlock the circularity of PS, namely in depolymerization, clean mechanical recycling, as well as dissolution. PS circularity is well positioned as it diverts waste material away from landfills, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gases and harmful emissions.

With a leadership position in the development of circular PS, Trinseo is a founding member of Styrenics Circular Solutions, a consortium that explores new methods for PS recycling. In North America, AmSty – a Trinseo joint venture and leader in polystyrene and styrene monomer production – recently formed a joint venture of its own with Agilyx – a world leader in chemical recycling of waste plastic – named Regenyx LLC. The joint initiative is dedicated to fully recycling post-consumer PS materials back into new PS products, using the circular method known as the PolyUsable™ process.