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Trinseo Launches Sustainable Acrylics

The Altuglas R-Life portfolio will include recycled, reused, and bio-based solutions.

July 25, 2022

2 Min Read
sustainable acrylics
Image courtesy of Trinseo

Trinseo has announced a new series of sustainable materials for the European marketplace — Altuglas R-Life Acrylics. Altuglas R-Life is an umbrella brand that will include chemically and mechanically recycled, reused, and bio-based polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) for cast and extruded sheets, resins, and compounds.

The series launched with the following:

  • Altuglas R-Life Extruded Acrylic Sheets, with a minimum of 75% mechanically recycled, reused PMMA scrap material;

  • Altuglas R-Life Cast Acrylic Sheets, with a minimum 75% chemically recycled PMMA cast sheet;

  • Altuglas R-Life Acrylic Resins, with both 50% and 80% chemically recycled monomer from PMMA waste.

The materials can be used in a range of application areas including retail, lighting, interior architecture, furniture and design, building and construction, and transportation.

“With Altuglas R-Life we look at sustainability broadly — as any number of solutions that might enable a customer to achieve positive sustainability outcomes,” said Aldo Zanetti, Global Sustainability Manager, Engineered Materials. “We plan for Altuglas R-Life to be a growing and dynamic series, proven, with scientific tools such as LCA, to have a measurable environmental impact.”

For each Altuglas R-Life sustainable solution, the global warming potential (GWP) was calculated through a life cycle analysis (LCA). By replacing fossil feedstock with sustainable content, reductions in GWP of 35% for cast sheets with 75% sustainable content and 53% for extruded sheets with 75% sustainable content are achieved. Further, GWP reductions of 24% for resins with 50% sustainable content and 38% for resins with 80% sustainable content are realized.

Altuglas R-Life Extruded Acrylic Sheets is an Altuglas CO2NET product with CO2 emissions reduction greater than 50% over its virgin, fossil-based equivalent.

Chemically recycled Altuglas R-Life cast acrylic sheets and acrylic resins as well as mechanically recycled, reused Altuglas R-Life extruded acrylic sheets achieve the same mechanical, aesthetic, and optical properties of their fossil-derived equivalents, according to Trinseo. The chemical recycling method involves PMMA waste depolymerization, where the material is converted to its original methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer.

Trinseo said it is committed to solutions for plastic waste by partnering with the value chain and developing and sharing innovative recycling technologies and approaches. Since its acquisition of Altuglas International, the company has been a member of European Union initiatives MMAtwo, focused on constructing a novel PMMA recycling value chain, and REVOLUTION, an automotive industry led project to apply recycled PMMA and other plastics to electric vehicles.

Altuglas R-Life extruded sheets, resins, and compounds are produced at Trinseo’s Rho plant, near Milan, Italy. Altuglas R-Life cast sheets are made at the company’s Saint-Avold, France, and Brondeslev, Denmark, locations.

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