A pilot project launched in 2020 by Portugal-based packaging manufacturer Intraplás Indústria Transformadora de Plásticos SA in collaboration with Yoplait brand in France has successfully demonstrated the feasibility of using recycled polystyrene in dairy product packaging.
Intraplás is now ready to incorporate the recycled material in its dairy packaging on an industrial scale.
The project was aimed at boosting the carbon neutrality of the value chain through the use of recycled materials.
The material for the project was derived from post-consumer mixed plastic waste converted by Total SA in its ISCC certified steam cracker in Antwerp. The resulting PS is therefore certified chemically recycled polystyrene offering virgin-like performance that is suitable for food-grade packaging.
Intraplás is strongly committed to achieving the full circularity of their packaging. It, too, has achieved ISCC Plus certification, for all types of circular polymers, including bio circular. Thanks to this certification, its customers may reference this on their packaging, if their organization is also certified as part of the value chain.
By showing that chemical recycling could offer a valid route for polystyrene recycling and close the loop in dairy applications, the project has opened the door for an alternative that can contribute to reducing the use of fossil raw materials, thus actively driving the transition towards a circular economy, Intraplás officials said.
The company added that transitioning from pilot to the industrial scale required no substantial changes to be made to any production processes nor did it affect the technical and functional characteristics of the products.