A RECYCLING plant to be set up in Swindon next year will be the first of its kind in Europe.

Recycling Technologies is based in the town and has been working on cutting-edge technology which turns un-recycled polystyrene waste back into styrene so it can then be used to make new material in a way which cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

The company is partnering with INEOS Styrolution and received investment to work on a pilot plant for the advanced recycling of polystyrene which is expected to be running in the second half of 2022.

The plant will be based on Recycling Technologies’ ‘fluidised bed reactor’ technology, which can be scaled to fit recycling plants of all sizes, so the company is hoping it can be set up in other towns and cities around the country in the future. 

The company described its partnership announcement as a significant step forward in launching polystyrene recycling through de-polymerisation technology. 

CEO and founder Adrian Griffiths said: “We welcome INEOS Styrolution’s decision and are pleased to be a critical element of the team to build Europe’s first advanced chemical polystyrene recycling facility. 

“Harnessing our fluidised bed engineering technology and vast expertise about recycling polystyrene is a critical step to making polystyrene circular.”

INEOS Styrolution is a leading global supplier of styrene and polystyrene, with a focus on sustainable production to create what’s known as a circular economy, where anything wasted can be turned back into a product instead of being sent to landfill.

In 2020, sales were at 4 billion euros as it employs approximately 3,600 people and operates 20 production sites in 10 countries.

President Dr. Alexander Glück added: “I am very excited to see this project move ahead. 

“With Recycling Technologies, we have found a partner, who is not only offering a very attractive technology, but who is also sharing our own vision to avoid polystyrene ending up in landfills or being incinerated. We are on the right path to make polystyrene a circular material.”