Plastics giant Trinseo and sheet extrusion for the dairy industry firm COEXPAN are to work together to investigate the potential for using mechanical and chemical recycling for dairy polystyrene (PS).
COEXPAN will test recycled PS across various technologies at its INNOTECH facility in Spain, with the material supplied by Trinseo.
The dairy form, fill and seal (FFS) industry typically uses PS as it is most suitable for products such as yoghurt pots.
However, some dairy manufacturers have investigated using other polymers instead of PS due to fears that the material isn’t easily recyclable.
But Trinseo and COEXPAN argue that an r-PS will be a game changer for the market with industrial volumes of the material expected to be available from 2022.
COEXPAN chief executive Dinis Mota said: “We are very pleased to have established this collaboration with Trinseo, which will allow us to demonstrate the viability of mechanical and chemical recycling processes for PS, a polymer with excellent properties in terms of efficiency and circularity in the food packaging market category.
“As a global leader in FFS and thermoforming packaging solutions, working with Trinseo in this regard reinforces our joint sustainability actions.
“COEXPAN is very excited about this collaboration. Having seen the crucial role plastic packaging has played this year in terms of food safety and hygiene, we view recycling and circularity as even more crucial. Our research centre INNOTECH is constantly innovating with recycling and circularity in mind. We do not launch a product without first addressing circularity. This partnership provides a unique platform that reaffirms our goal of promoting and achieving a circular economy model.”