The project aims at using secondary raw material deriving from end-of-life products (mainly from polystyrene made packaging) to produce expandable polystyrene (EPS), suitable to be transformed into expanded polystyrene sheets for buildings’ thermal insulation.
This innovative product is obtained using a Versalis’ proprietary technology on an existing plant, enabling to include up to 20% of recycled content. This product has features comparable to 100% virgin polystyrene.
The whole process includes improved recovery of polystyrene flow from mixed plastic waste, optimized recycling technology in order to achieve the right quality SRM and proper formulation and process conditions on Versalis’ plant.
The circular economy model applied here can be replicated for other types of secondary raw materials, in order to enhance the market and strengthen the supply chain for the recovery of end-of-life products.
- The project enhances the circularity of polystyrene products, drastically improving the recycling potential of styrene-based polymer goods.
- Depending on the feedstock’s availability and quality, the model can be scaled up to different production volumes and the polymer produced can be used for different applications (e.g. industrial packaging).
- Giving new life to a secondary raw material and transforming it into new products, increase the energy efficiency of our buildings.
- The supply of the secondary raw materials, as the chain of recovery and selection of polystyrene post-consumer products is still under development.
- The support from institutions, which is crucial to encourage the purchase and use of products with a recycled content.
The project was carried out with the collaboration of a partner specialized in collection, recycling and recovery of plastics waste.