FRANCE – US-based materials company Trinseo has partnered with plastic film extrusion and thermoforming firm CEDAP to develop recycled polystyrene (rPS) for Eurial Ultra-Frais yoghurt cups.

The material is made from Trinseo’s STYRON CO₂RE CR55 Polystyrene Resin, which combines 55% recycled styrene monomer feedstock with virgin, fossil-based content.

After it is refined and produced, the material yields 50% rPS, which CEDAP used to develop a polystyrene (PS) sheet roll.

Les 300 Laitiers Bio’s owner, European agricultural cooperative Eurial Ultra-Frais, uses this PS roll for yoghurt pot thermoforming, filling and sealing before the products are delivered to retailers.

According to Trinseo Sustainability Business Development Leader Julien Renvoise: “Trinseo is seeing increased demand for rPS, not only in sensitive food applications, as with CEDAP and Eurial Ultra-Frais, but in applications across industry sectors.

“Due to the simple chemistry of PS, polystyrene waste can be processed in a number of ways, allowing customers not only to meet sustainability goals but to achieve material performance and cost requirements.”

The development of rPS for yoghurt cups follows Trinseo and CEDAP’s partnership to use recycled PS in food packaging, which began in 2020.

Trinseo stated that depolymerisation technology is used in the recycling process and enables the polystyrene (PS) waste to convert to its monomer, which is then mixed with virgin material in manufacturing without any difference.

As a result, STYRON CO2RE CR55 Polystyrene Resins may be utilised in high-end, demanding applications such as consumer electronics, packaging, home furnishings, and even applications involving direct contact with food.

A study by Styrenics Circular Solutions Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) comparing PS produced with 100% virgin, fossil content against material containing recycled PS showed that depolymerised rPS reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 75%.

Trinseo and CEDAP have been developing sustainable packaging for Les 300 Laitiers Bio since April this year.

Earlier this month, Trinseo and circular business innovations company GMP Group began a collaboration to enhance the circularity of PS.

As part of the initiative, GMP will build and operate an advanced pre-treatment or regeneration plant with a minimum capacity of 25kt in the Netherlands.

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