Panel discussion at "K 2019" brings several points of view together / Challenge of finding input feedstock for chemical recycling
The joint industry initiative Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS, Brussels / Belgium;, which was created at the end of 2018 by the competitors Ineos Styrolution (Frankfurt / Germany;, Total (Paris / France;, Trinseo (Berwyn, Pennsylvania / USA; and Versalis (Milan / Italy; – see of 18.12.2018 – put on a moderated panel discussion for a packed room at "K 2019".

Representing diverse parts of the styrenics value chain, the speakers were Pyrowave CEO Jocelyn Doucet (chemical recycling), Plarebel managing director An Vossen (collection), Tomra senior VP circular economy Jürgen Priesters (sorting), Intraplas co-owner Anabela Ferreira (plastics processing), PlasticsEurope Deutschland director general Rüdiger Baunemann (polymer production) and SCS secretary general Jens Kathmann. Vossen said PS waste has been the "ugly duckling" of polymer collection in the past but has turned into something promising. She noted that consumers are conscientious about discarding larger packaging properly but less so with smaller pack formats.

Regarding waste disposal in Germany, Priesters said around 70% of packaging ends up in the wrong bin. He also highlighted how HIPS is an easily washable material, giving high-purity levels (up to 99.9%) that are important for food-grade recyclate, for example. Being a food packaging manufacturer, Ferreira added that her company is ready to use rPS, which has high barrier properties and requires less heat to work with compared to other polymers.

For chemical recycling, there is currently the challenge of finding enough input feedstock, said Doucet. He addressed issues he thinks are misconceptions about chemical recycling. These include contamination, which he pointed out is an issue for all chemical processes, and energy consumption, with virgin material production requiring more energy to get to the monomer, according to Doucet. Significant scaling up for styrenics recycling in general is planned up to 2021, said Kathmann.
23.10.2019 [243700-0]
Published on 23.10.2019

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