Brussels/PRNewswire/ - Supporters of PolyStyreneLoop, the pioneering recycling initiative for polystyrene (PS) foam insulation including expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS, respectively), gathered in Brussels on Wednesday 23 May 2018. The Open General Assembly included stakeholders from across the value chain, from producers to recyclers, through to senior representatives of the European Commission.
Guests were welcomed by Jan Noordegraaf and Lein Tange of PolyStyreneLoop, who updated participants on the rapid progress of the PolyStyreneLoop,recycling initiative. They highlighted the achievement of the entire value chain embracing the project, with the PolyStyreneLoop Cooperative including over 60 members from across 14 countries. Mr Noordegraaf and and Mr Tange went on to explain the technology that uses a unique dissolution process for polystyrene plastics, based on the CreaSolv© Process. They explained how this process transforms waste polystyrene foams into high quality recyclates (polystyrene and bromine) that are ready for re-use. Mr Noordegraaf and Mr Tange emphasized that this is in fact an "upcycling" project due to the high quality of what can be produced at PolyStyreneLoop's industrial scale demonstration plant in Terneuzen in the Netherlands. The process also resolves the issue of the flame retardant HBCD. It has been banned in the EU as a persistent organic pollutant (POP) and substituted with safe additives that ensure fire safety, but is still found in some older EPS insulation products.
The PolystyreneLoop project receives strong support from national and European Union authorities in recognition of its contribution to the Circular Economy agenda. The European Commission has recently endorsed it as an example in the documents supporting both its Plastics Strategy and its Communication on Chemical, Product and Waste legislation. EU institutions including the Council and Parliament, as well as stakeholders are currently discussing both. This support was also reflected by the presence of keynote speakers Aurelio Politano, Senior Project Advisor from the European Commission's Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Entreprises (EASME). Mr Politano spoke about the LIFE programme, the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. He also discussed LIFE's decision to support PolyStyreneLoop with a grant, describing the polystyrene recycling initiative as "well-structured and well-developed" as well as ambitious.
Timoteo de la Fuente, Policy Officer for Chemicals from the European Commission DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), also addressed the event as a keynote speaker, speaking about the Pledging Campaign that forms part of the European Commission's Plastics Strategy. Mr de la Fuente spoke about how its target of 10 million tons of recycled plastics to be used in new products on the EU market by 2025.
Further information about the PolyStyrene Loop initiative can be found at http://www.polystyreneloop.eu