German styrenics supplier INEOS Styrolution has partnered with ReVital Polymers and Pyrowave to launch a consortium to recycle single-serve polystyrene packaging.

The closed-loop consortium will target polystyrene packaging collected in consumer curbside and depot recycling systems as well as restaurants, offices, schools and universities.

Using advanced recycling technology developed by Pyrowave, the partners will focus on reducing the amount of polystyrene packaging going to landfill and on fighting plastic pollution problem in waterways and oceans.

The recycled polystyrene will be used in the manufacturing of new products and packaging.

Polystyrene is used in foam and rigid packaging, containers, cups and utensils for food and beverage delivery.

ReVital Polymers, which is a Canadian firm engaged in processing post-consumer plastics, will use Pyrowave’s Catalytic Microwave Depolymerization (CMD) technology in its plastics recycling process.

ReVital’s sorted post-consumer polystyrene packaging will be converted to monomers by Pyrowave’s microwave machine.

INEOS Styrolution, which manufactures polystyrene for various food service packaging applications and consumer goods products, will then use the monomers.

“This is a game changer for consumers and for municipal and industrial, commercial and institutional recycling programmes.”

During the final step, INEOS Styrolution will process the material from ReVital and Pyrowave to return it to virgin resin that can be used in manufacturing any new polystyrene application.

Pyrowave’s technology allows polystyrene to be made infinitely recyclable.

ReVital Polymers chief commercial officer Keith Bechard said: “This is a game changer for consumers and for municipal and industrial, commercial and institutional recycling programmes.

“Polystyrene packaging, regardless of colour, food residue or odours, can be successfully added to recycling programmes. When these materials are shipped to ReVital, they will be recycled into a high-value material that closes the loop.

“For ReVital, this project is an opportunity to increase our range of acceptable feedstock, increase the recovery rate for residential and commercial recycling programmes and increase our value proposition to customers.”