realCYCLE: Is polystyrene the new PET?

Aim of the pilot project

An initiative of the polystyrene industry has been campaigning for some time for the recycling of food-grade polystyrene (PS). The aim is to collect, process and recycle PS from food applications so that it can be reused in the food packaging sector.

At a round table in July 2021, attended by 16 representatives of the entire value chain, realCYCLE (by REDILO) was proposed and appointed as an independent coordinating body.

What we are currently working on

The Round Table PS Kreislaufschliessung Schweiz brings all stakeholders along the value chain to one table. The stakeholders around the PS cycle are currently organized in 4 working groups on the topic:

  • Collection: How can food packaging made of PS be collected and recycled as comprehensively as possible?
  • Technology: Which technologies enable the sorting, processing and regranulation of food packaging and is the use of regranulate in the food sector thus achievable?
  • Financing: How can a circuit closure of PS be financed in Switzerland?
  • Approval: prepare the necessary documents to apply for food approval for regranulate from PS (from post-consumer collections).

Pilot Project Partner

Various partners are involved in the working group. The Round Table PS Kreislaufschliessung Schweiz was established by M-Industrie and Greiner Packaging AG and they continue to be actively involved. In addition to various operators of collection systems and recyclers as well as packaging producers, EMPA is also closely involved in the project as scientific support.

The Round Table works in close cooperation with the SCS (Styrenic Circular Solutions, interest group at EU level). 

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