INEOS Styrolution partners with EGN and Tomra to recycle post-consumer polystyrene waste into food contact polystyrene
- Process enables closed-loop circularity for polystyrene (PS) at food contact quality levels
- First large-scale mechanical recycling facility to process recycled PS suitable for food packaging
- Start-up expected by mid-2025
INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics; Tomra, the world leader in waste transformation; and EGN Entsorgungsgesellschaft Niederrhein, a leading recycling company, have today announced a ground-breaking project to convert post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste into recycled polystyrene for food packaging applications.
EGN, a subsidiary of the SWK AG, will build a green field state-of-the-art advanced mechanical recycling facility with a capacity to process 40kt of post-consumer polystyrene (PS) waste per year. It is expected to be the first large-scale facility of its kind. EGN will manage sorting and washing, while INEOS Styrolution will be responsible for the “super-cleaning” purification process to comply with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requirements for food contact applications.
The new facility will be located in Krefeld, Germany. It is expected to start up in mid-2025, allowing INEOS Styrolution to start serving customers at commercial scale.
An agreement with Tomra to provide sorting technology and feedstock completes the project. Tomra Feedstock will collect post-consumer polystyrene waste from disposed food packaging and deliver it to the new site in Krefeld, Germany.
Pierre Vincent, Managing Director EGN says: “We share INEOS Styrolution’s vision of closing the loop for food-contact quality polystyrene. I expect the dairy industry to especially benefit from this new offering by allowing them to mechanically recycle from yoghurt pot to yoghurt pot creating a true circular economy for this material.”
Jürgen Priesters, Managing Director Tomra Feedstock, comments: “We are proud to contribute to this first commercial-scale polystyrene mechanical recycling facility for food contact applications. Polystyrene has the right composition to be recycled mechanically for food applications. The mission of Tomra Feedstock is to keep PS in true circularity.”
Steve Harrington, CEO, INEOS Styrolution adds: “This is an exciting step forward for our industry. Our three companies bring complementary expertise to this project, and because of this unique collaboration, we will be able to provide customers high-performing circular polystyrene produced at a significantly lower carbon footprint. Already, we are seeing high interest from customers and brand owners to secure long term contracts.”
Key facts about recycling of polystyrene
The advanced mechanical recycling process benefits from the inherent properties of polystyrene making it the material of choice for real circularity.
PS is proven to be one of the best sortable plastics in the waste stream and is one of only two polymers that can achieve food-contact qualities with mechanical recycling. The material offers infinite recyclability, retaining its property profile after many mechanical recycling cycles at virgin quality levels. Due to its properties, PS offers very low contamination uptake in the waste stream.
It is expected that a significant percentage of recycled food packaging material will be realised in a very short timeframe. Investment in commercial scaling of PS recycling will lead to a growing market share and a reduction in packaging taxes and licensing fees in countries where such frameworks are in place.
About INEOS Styrolution
INEOS Styrolution is the world’s leading styrenics supplier, with a high-performing portfolio of styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialty products. With more than 90 years of innovation in materials science, INEOS Styrolution is focused on customer satisfaction with differentiated solutions that provide a competitive edge as well as investments in technology that enable closed loop recyclability for styrenics while reducing our carbon emissions. INEOS Styrolution applications can be found in many everyday products across multiple industries: including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging, and toys/sports. Operating 16 production sites in nine countries, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of INEOS Group Limited and employs approximately 3,100 people. Sales were 6.6 billion euros in 2022.
More information: www.ineos-styrolution.com
Follow us on Twitter (@styrolution).
In 2023, INEOS marks 25 years since its inception
On 5 May 1998, the first deal was signed to buy former BP site at Antwerp from INSPEC under the INEOS name, with 300 staff at a cost of £80m. Since this first deal, INEOS has completed hundreds of deals in petrochemicals, oil & gas, and energy growing to a $65bn revenue group with 36 businesses in 29 countries and 26,000 staff.
Over recent years, INEOS has expanded beyond the industrial heart with investment in consumer brands, sports and charities.
What defines INEOS is its scale, people and culture; asking the big questions to tackle global challenges - with grit, rigour and humour. And with remarkable people, achieving extraordinary outcomes.
25 years is a moment in time, to look back on what has been built and to look forward to what is to come. INEOS is ambitious and continues to look for new opportunities and go for growth. Follow the INEOS journey and see where it leads.
EGN is a full-service waste management provider for waste collection, waste transport and recycling, thus active along parts of the waste management value chain. These services are provided to trade, industrial and private customers and municipalities. In 2022 EGN group sales were at 300 million euros with 1.100 EGN employers at 18 sites in Germany.
More information: www.entsorgung-niederrhein.de
SWK group is a national player in energy & waste management that 100% owned by the municipality of Krefeld. In 2022 sales were at 1.7 billion euros and SWK employs approximately 3400 people.
TOMRA was founded on an innovation in 1972 that began with the design, manufacturing and sale of reverse vending machines (RVMs) for automated collection of used beverage containers. Today TOMRA provides technology-led solutions that enable the circular economy with advanced collection and sorting systems that optimize resource recovery and minimize waste in the food, recycling and, mining industries and is committed to building a more sustainable future.
TOMRA has ~100,000 installations in over 80 markets worldwide and had total revenues of ~9.9 billion NOK in 2020. The Group employs ~4,300 globally and is publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (OSE: TOM). For further information about TOMRA, please see www.tomra.com
Contact INEOS STYROLUTION
Dr. Ralf Leinemann
Global Manager PR & Marketing Communications
INEOS Styrolution Group GmbH
Mainzer Landstraße 50
Phone: +49 69 509550-1366
Email: ralf.leinemann [@] ineos.com
EGN Entsorgungsgesellschaft Niederrhein
Phone: 0049 2162 376-3220
SVP, Marketing & Communications, Circular Economy
TOMRA Sorting GmbH
Otto-Hahn Strasse 2-6
Phone: +49 2630 9150 450
Mobile: +49 171 47 88 335
Email: mithu.mohren [at] tomra.com
Fasse + Bieger Strategic Communications
Office K 61
Phone: +49 30 887 14470
Mobile: +49 172 210 8904
Email: fasse [at] fasse-bieger.de
 CO2e refers to carbon dioxide equivalent (for scope 1 & 2 emissions with 2019 as baseline)