Polystyrene: circular recyclability at its best

Polystyrene's high-performance properties, combined with its recyclability and ease of processing, set it apart as an exemplary model of circularity.  

Unlike many other polymers, polystyrene can be recycled multiple times without compromising its inherent properties. This attribute alone sets it apart, making it an ideal material for closed-loop systems, where waste is collected, recycled, and subsequently reused for identical applications. 

Polystyrene can be recycled through various technologies such as mechanical recycling, dissolution, depolymerisation, and pyrolysis, offering flexibility in recycling processes. 

Within the waste stream, polystyrene exhibits low contamination absorption, ensuring its integrity throughout recycling. It can be easily detected and sorted, maintaining purity and quality throughout the process. The consistency of polystyrene properties over time is remarkable, avoiding common issues such as yellowing, often seen in recycled polymers. 

Polystyrene particularly excels in food-contact to food-contact recycling. Recycled polystyrene products match the quality and performance of their conventional counterparts, eliminating the need for downcycling. This characteristic enables the recycled material to be utilised in the same applications, exemplifying true circularity.  

The recyclability of polystyrene not only reduces waste but also significantly diminishes the product’s carbon footprint, thus propelling the shift to a low-carbon, circular economy. 

Polystyrene - Official communication of analyses

Initial Report on the Novel Technology

Report 1 - October 2023

Report 2 – April 2024