NPE ’12: Post-consumer recycled PS a growing niche

03 April 2012 04:07  [Source: ICIS news]

ORLANDO, Florida (ICIS)--Post-consumer recycled polystyrene (PS) is a growing niche in the US market, as downstream consumers continue to look for ways to be more sustainable, sources said on Monday.

Americas Styrenics announced on Monday that it will launch a new single pellet PS product made from 25% post-consumer recycled PS and 75% virgin PS aimed at the foamed PS foodservice market segment.

Styrolution already offers its own post-consumer recycled PS, geared to the injection moulded, extruded and thermoformed foodservice and food packaging segments, said Bill Bryant, PS business director with Styrolution, speaking at the sidelines of the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) in Orlando.

"We welcome them to the party," Bryant said of Americas Styrenics. "If this is going to work, it's going to have to be a collective effort."

Downstream consumers, particularly in the foodservice industry, are increasingly interested in product made with recycled material as a way to show customers they are committed to sustainability, Bryant said.

However, while there is increasing interest, there are still some hurdles to expansion of the market, including less colour consistency and prices that are on average about 10% higher than virgin PS, said Ed Barnes, vice president of Polystyrene Americas at Styrolution.

"When people hear it has recycled content, they think it must be cheaper, but that's not the case," Barnes said.

As recycling efforts grow, the costs will come down, he said.

The four-day NPE is sponsored by the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) and runs through Thursday.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Michelle Klump
+1 713 525 2653

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