During the first stage of the validation, several trials have been conducted by both teams at Innotech (Innovation and Technology Centre of COEXPAN and EMSUR) with what the companies said are positive results in terms of quality and processability.
Contaminants were successfully removed from the initial feedstock, including pigments and dyes. Innotech successfully extruded and thermoformed the recycled pellets into yogurt pots made from recycled PS.
The pellets tested during the extrusion process were post-industrial rPS 50%, (ABA structure) and a monolayer structure with 100% post-industrial rPS. The sheets were then tested on FFS industrial yogurt packaging systems, and analyzed at the development center laboratory.
Among the different rPS recycling technologies, Polystyvert’s purification capacity allows the hard-to-remove contaminants (pigments, papers, cardboard, and other plastics) to be eliminated initially, offering the ability to deliver a high-quality product and treat a variety of difficult to recycle feedstocks.
Polystyvert said the rPS successfully passed the challenge and migration tests. Based on the results, Polystyvert received a certification letter for food contact in the US from Intertek, an independent laboratory.
After promising results with post-industrial recycled material, in the next few weeks both companies will conduct trials with post-consumer waste.
Dinis Mota, CEO of COEXPAN, said, “We are very happy to have established this collaboration with Polystyvert, which will allow us to demonstrate the viability and potential of the dissolution recycling technology for polystyrene. It reinforces our sustainability positioning and our goal of achieving a circular economy model.”
Solenne Brouard Gaillot, founder of Polystyvert, added, “We are very happy to partner with Coexpan in order to set a circular economy in food packaging made of PS. We think PS is a valuable material and Polystyvert’s technology is the solution of choice to tackle the challenges of closed loop recycling."