Agilyx LLC and Americas Styrenics LLC are creating a joint venture to recycle post-consumer polystyrene into new products.
The new operation, called Regenyx LLC, aims to use Agilyx's chemical recycling approach to convert used PS into styrene monomer.
Americas Styrenics, which makes both polystyrene and styrene, will work with its "supply chain partners to make new polystyrene products with a favorable environmental profit without any degradation of quality or value," the companies said.
"Polystyrene products like foam cups, foam packaging and single-use picnic items are uniquely suitable for conversion back to chemical building blocks that can be used to make new products over and over," Americas Styrenics CEO Brad Crocker said in a statement. "We are committed to a future where discarded polystyrene materials are no longer sent to landfills. This approach also holds great promise for other types of plastics as well."
PS, in both rigid and expanded foam, has been a flashpoint of conflict between industry and environmentalists for years as its recycling rates have lagged other types of resin.
PS is recyclable, but not often recycled. Opponents often allege the material is not recyclable, but the industry counters the material certainly can be used again.
What the issue comes down to is not whether it's feasible to actually recycle PS, but whether its practical and cost-effective.
Now Regenyx wants to have its say.
"Today's announcement marks a major milestone, not only for AmSty and Agilyx, but for our collective ability to dramatically increase recycling rates," Agilyx CEO Joe Vaillancourt said in the statement.
The new joint venture, he said, creates "a complete system to continually recycle polystyrene products back to polystyrene products."
It was just about six weeks ago that Agilyx indicated the company had sent its first truckload of recycled styrene monomer to Americas Styrenics. In late 2018, the two companies signaled a willingness to create a joint venture.
Agilyx is based in Tigard, Ore., and Americas Styrenics is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas.