Enabling a circular economy for styrenics
We strive to provide circular, low-carbon styrenics that are safe and sustainable for our customers and end-users. We do this by taking a responsible approach to our product portfolio across the entire value chain.
By taking a holistic approach and examining our entire value chain, we want to ensure that the use of styrenics materials are maximised in every step of the entire life cycle. Our aim is to create sustainable styrenics solutions that have the product performance and properties on par with conventional solutions – for all applications using styrenics today and in the future.
Together with customers and a variety of waste sorters, recyclers, and technology providers, we are engaging in collaborative innovation of cutting-edge sustainable products. By driving product stewardship and quality management, we ensure compliance with product regulations and deliver safe, high-quality, and high-performance products to our customers. Together with associations and our business partners, we strive to achieve high and well-acknowledged sustainability standards in the styrenics industry. We have undertaken a significant amount of effort to analyse our products and production processes from cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-gate and are now focusing on developing the best pathways to unlock the true potential of styrenics for a circular, low-carbon economy.
Contributing to a circular economy for styrenics
Our sustainable products
We are committed to providing our customers with the best solutions for their business. INEOS Styrolution ECO, our new family of sustainable styrenics solutions comprises products made from recycled post-consumer plastic waste as well as materials based on renewable feedstock.
As this new product range matches the performance of our existing product portfolio, it will reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, reduce the amount of post-consumer waste going to landfill, support the recycling of post-consumer plastic waste, and help our customers meet their sustainability targets.
The sorting of plastics waste is the essential step in the waste management of mixed plastics waste streams. Effective sorting and washing of plastics waste can divert this valuable resource from either incineration or landfill to deliver material with the required quality and specifications needed for recycling.
With new innovative NIR technology and state-of-the-art washing, high-quality recycled polystyrene is now technologically feasible, and we are currently aiming to get recycled polystyrene with a purity of 99.9% plus out of household waste. This will ensure a consistent and high-quality supply of material that can then be recycled.
As part of our efforts to bring high-quality recycled ABS to the market, we have identified various waste sources. This, in combination with state-of-the-art sorting technology and our manufacturing expertise can help us deliver a consistent, high quality of recycled ABS.
Polystyrene is not only a versatile, aesthetic, and durable material, it is also one of the most recyclable polymers. It is one of the best sortable plastics in the waste stream, its barrier properties block possible contaminants, and its ideal ceiling temperature allows it to be depolymerised.
These unique properties allow it to be recycled using several different technologies from mechanical recycling and dissolution to advanced recycling methods such as depolymerisation, pyrolysis and gasification. These technologies offer recycled polystyrene matching virgin quality with no sacrifice in properties, thus enabling food-contact applications and nearly infinite recycling cycles. Therefore, we are working on different technologies in parallel to reach the recycling quota for polystyrene and offer this recycled material to our customers by 2025.
Click here to read more about our how polystyrene is made for recycling.
Mechanical recycling is the best available and proven technology to reuse end-of-life plastic waste on a short to medium term, and is currently the most feasible option for ABS. As this process is less energy-intensive, it has a much lower carbon footprint in comparison to conventional production processes and will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill and incineration
Terluran® ECO, our first standard ABS grades with post-consumer recycled material are now available commercially. The two new grades Terluran® ECO GP-22 MR50 and Terluran® ECO GP-22 MR70 contain 50 and 70 percent of recycled post-consumer waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), respectively. These recycled ABS solutions match the mechanical property profile of our virgin GP ABS grades and can be used as a drop-in solution by our customers.
Following its success in EMEA, Terluran® ECO has been well received by brand owners and converters in the Americas and Asia. We are now working on retail, electronics, and consumer product applications in using locally sourced post-consumer recycled ABS.
Using renewable resources
One of the primary aims of our sustainability strategy is to reduce our use of fossil fuel feedstock as well as our greenhouse gas emissions. Together with other INEOS companies and Scandinavian bio-refineries, we have developed an approach that uses feedstock made from local household kitchen waste and wood waste in our petrochemical installations. This means we significantly reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and our use of fossil feedstock. Using a so-called “bio-attribution” approach, this substitution not only lowers the carbon footprint of our styrenics products but also paves the way towards low-carbon styrenics.
For our customers, this bio-attributed approach enables an easy transition from fossil to renewables as it offers a drop-in solution. Through this approach, we reduce the carbon footprint in our customer’s supply chain, and for them there is no compromise in performance, no product development necessary, no need to adapt technology and no new regulatory approvals needed.
Click here to read more about how we enable a circular economy for styrenics.