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DIC & Partner to Implement Hybrid Recycling Process for PS Food Trays

Published on 2022-08-10. Edited By : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Sustainability / Natural Solutions    

DICPSrecycling DIC Corporation announces that it has begun collaborating with Hiroshima-based FP Corporation (FPCO) to deploy the world’s first dissolution and separation recycling technology for polystyrene, the raw material used in plastic trays for food products, to facilitate the closed-loop recycling of these trays. The two companies are aiming for practical implementation in fiscal year 2023.

Chemical Recycling of Polystyrene to Styrene Monomer

In November 2020, DIC and FPCO announced plans to collaborate in the polystyrene that maximizes the technologies, as well as the collection and recycling systems, of both companies. This initiative aims to realize the closed-loop recycling that uses chemical recycling technology to recycle polystyrene to styrene monomer, which is the raw material for polystyrene.

FPCO promotes “tray-to-tray” recycling, collecting post-consumer foamed polystyrene food trays from approximately 10,000 collection bases at supermarkets and other locations across Japan, and then recycling them into new food trays.

Foamed polystyrene food trays can be either white or colored, depending on use. The used white trays that are discarded by households can be recycled into new food trays. However, because pulverizing colored foamed polystyrene trays yields black pellets which usage is limited due to its color and therefore, these trays are generally recycled into materials for clothes hangers and other household items.

To resolve this issue, DIC has developed a new dissolution and separation recycling technology specifically for colored trays. This technology, which makes use of the technologies and polymer design capabilities DIC has cultivated as a manufacturer of inks to eliminate colored elements from black pellets, will be adopted at polystyrene production facilities, enabling “tray-to tray” recycling of colored foamed polystyrene food trays as of white trays.

Industrial Verification of the Process

We are proceeding with industrial verification of this process at DIC’s Yokkaichi Plant. DIC and FPCO intend to launch recycling of collected post-consumer colored foamed polystyrene food trays in fiscal year 2023, as well as to combine this technology with chemical recycling, which the companies are promoting simultaneously, to create a hybrid recycling process.

In its DIC Vision 2030 long-term management plan, DIC identifies responding to a circular economy as a central sustainability strategy and as a challenge critical to the realization of a sustainable society. Looking ahead, the DIC Group will continue collaborating with customers and suppliers across its supply chain with the aim of achieving greater circularity in the important market for food packaging.

The FPCO Group has pursued as a manufacturer the three basic pillars of “creating superior, environment-friendly product, manufacturing them at competitive prices”, and “delivering them to our clients when they need them”.

The FPCO Group makes every effort to reduce its environmental impact across the entire value chain, including in procurement, product development, manufacturing, logistics and recycling, with the goal of helping to create a recycling-oriented and sustainable society.

Source: DIC Corporation

Sustainability / Natural Solutions

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