UK-based innovative technology company Recycling Technologies have been researching and engineering ways to reduce plastic and recycle waste. In April 2021, the company announced a deal with INEOS and Trinseo, two of the world’s biggest polystyrene makers to create treatment centres that recycle the material. Tackling the issue of recycling materials back into products, could help reduce plastic ending up in landfills and in the sea.

A Circular Economy

Polystyrene is a type of plastic that has been made by INEOS Styrolution for the last ninety years. The other chemical company on board is Trinseo which has only been around for a decade, yet it makes over six billion (£) in sales from mainly manufacturing plastic and rubber. The two plastic producing companies are hoping to support a circular economy where the manufactured materials are recycled and made into new products; a practice that more manufacturers are trying to adhere to. Instead of following a type of production timeline of creating, consuming and disposing, circular production means that products can be renewed and its shelf life is extended after use. This is more sustainable not just for people but also for the planet.

What is Polystyrene?

The most common litter found on UK beaches is polystyrene pieces, a durable plastic that is commonly used in food packaging such as takeaway boxes and disposable items. Polystyrene is known to be able to partially break down when heated up, however, in a landfill may not be exposed to the sun and could cause toxic chemicals to leak. Although polystyrene is not commonly recycled around the world, this UK-based project will be Europe’s first recycling centre that will focus on processing polystyrene; a great win for sustainability. 

The Recycling Statistics

According to Statista (2020), eighty-six percent of UK residents are worried about disposable and non-recyclable products. Over three-hundred-and-fifty billion metric tons of plastic was produced in 2018 alone. There are around seventy recycling plants in Britain that sort through plastics that can take hundreds of years to decompose but still tons of plastic is not recycled. A detailed report published by the UK Government revealed that twenty-five percent of all waste is taken to landfills, the second most common way to dispose of waste. Reducing purchasing items that have polystyrene packaging could be a way to reduce waste but the plastic problem still exists. Nonetheless, technological advancements such as the polystyrene recycling plant, which is set to be built in 2022, will curb disused plastic being thrown away by melting the plastic down to be made into repurposed products. Hopefully, the fight against plastic wastage will continue to strengthen. 

Need help with Polystyrene Recycling?

If you need assistance with your household or commercial polystyrene recycling, here at Plastic Expert we offer services to help. We are always happy to talk you through any questions you may have. Feel free to ring us on 0845 3669306 or send an email to expert@plasticexpert.co.uk if you would like more information on this.