As more anti-plastic activist groups call for penalties against plastic “waste makers” and urge greater responsibility from both resin producers and processors, two companies have partnered to take on the challenge of a circular pathway for polystyrene (PS). AmSty, the largest PS producer in the Americas, and Agilyx, a leader in advanced (chemical) recycling technology for difficult-to-recycle post-use plastic streams, announced the successful completion of a fully circular pathway for PS recycling.
PS waste is currently being transformed from solid form to liquid feedstock, called recycled styrene monomer (RSM), at the joint-venture facility Regenyx in Tigard, OR. By receiving International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC Plus) for the complete pathway from waste aggregation to new polystyrene production, the loop on the recycling circle for PS has been completed. These products can now be put back into the marketplace with original quality, holding third-party certification of recycled content.
“With this achievement, we can begin moving circular recycled products from concept to reality, and directly into the hands of consumers,” said Tim Barnette, Vice President - Polymers and Sustainability at AmSty. “At a time when people are clamoring for solutions to sustainability advancements, we are proud to offer a circular solution from the plastics sector.”
For a recycling process to be circular, it must be regenerative — beginning and ending at the same place in the product’s life cycle. From the consumer’s perspective, PS recycling begins as a consumer product used in the home — a food package or meat tray, for example — and ends up in the recycling bin or trash can. Now, when a consumer uses a PS product, it has the potential to be collected from mixed plastic waste, converted to feedstock, and processed into new polystyrene. From there, it can be re-formed into new products without any loss of material quality and enjoyed by consumers again and again. Through the ISCC Plus certification process, recycled content can be assigned, certified, and claimed by package manufacturers. Consumers can readily identify circular products on the shelf and feel good about their choices and participation in sustainability.
“We are proud of the work that has been done at the Regenyx facility to accelerate the available capacity of recycled content for producers,” stated Tim Stedman, CEO of Agilyx. “The advancements we have made at Regenyx along with ISCC Plus certification is further concrete proof that we have created a circular pathway for polystyrene recycling.”