Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), a joint industry initiative formed by European styrenics manufacturers, has applied for authorisation of the use of mechanically recycled polystyrene (rPS) in food contact applications.

The group filed the application with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) after carrying out tests with Gneuss’ super-cleaning technology, the Multi Rotation System (MRS) jump extrusion process.

During the tests, the process delivered a recycled polymer with purity based on post-consumer food packaging waste.

The test results are included in the scientific dossier by Fraunhofer IVV for the application.

This is the second application that SCS has filed for this authorisation, the first having been filed last March.

The first application has a risk assessment deadline set for 23 March this year. Each application is based on different super-cleaning technologies.

SCS secretary-general Jens Kathmann said: “The submission of this second application for a different super-cleaning technology underlines our confidence in the safety of rPS as food contact material.

“The expansion of the technological base is important to give investors in food-grade mechanical recycling facilities a choice.

“Now we already have two proven super-cleaning technologies, and we are convinced that several other suitable technologies will follow.

“This is fully in line with the broader SCS strategy to embrace multiple technologies to accelerate achieving the circular economy for styrenics and our contribution to EU recycling targets.

“We look forward to positive opinions of EFSA, both on our earlier submission and eventually this application.”

SCS was founded in 2018 with the aim of enhancing the circular economy for styrenic polymers.

In 2020, Austria-based packaging company Greiner Packaging joined SCS as part of its wider commitment to developing sustainable plastic solutions.

Other members of the group include COEXPAN, ELIX Polymers, Exiba, INEOS Styrolution, Repsol, TOMRA, Total, Trinseo and Versalis (Eni).