A new partnership between UK Recycling Technologies and leading polystyrene manufacturer is set to see the difficult to dispose plastic made recyclable

Europe’s first polystyrene recycling plant is set to be operational from 2022, after INEOS Styrolution this week announced it is investing in a pilot plant in collaboration with UK-based company Recycling Technologies that will allow for advanced polystyrene recycling.

The pilot facility is set to be built in Swindon and is expected to come online in the second half of next year, delivering UK recycling capacity for the notoriously hard to recycle packaging material for the first time.

“I am excited to see this project move ahead,” said Dr Alexander Glück, president for EMEA at INEOS Styrolution. “With Recycling Technologies, we have found a partner, who is not only offering a very attractive technology, but who is also sharing our own vision to avoid polystyrene ending up in landfills or being incinerated. We are on the right path to make polystyrene a circular material.”

The recycling facility is to use Recycling Technologies’ fluidised bed reactor technology to convert polystyrene waste into its main building block, Styrene, which can then be manufactured into new polystyrene. The process uses less greenhouse gas emissions than producing virgin polystyrene from naphtha, the company said.

Adrian Griffiths, CEO  and founder of Recycling Technologies, said: “We welcome INEOS Styrolution’s decision and are pleased to be a critical element of the team to build Europe’s first advanced chemical polystyrene recycling facility. Harnessing our fluidised bed engineering technology and expertise to recycling polystyrene is a critical step to making polystyrene circular.”

The news comes just days after the government announced it is planning to extend its ban on single use plastic materials to cover a wider range of products, including single-use plastic plates, cutlery, expanded and extruded polystyrene cups, food, and beverage containers. The move is part of a wider crackdown on plastic waste that is set to see manufacturers face new taxes for plastic materials that do not feature a minimum level of recycled material.

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