News

Sustainable recycling of old EPS

(09.08.2018)

In contrast to the currently common disposal methods of incineration and landfilling, the unique PSLoop recycling plant is to enable the recycling of polystyrene foam in a closed circuit for the first time. In particular, construction waste - whether with or without impurities - should be able to be processed. In this way, CO2 emissions can be reduced and the environment and climate can be protected. The PSLoop recycling plant makes an important contribution to environmental services. 

Polystyrene (PS) foams are known for their excellent insulating and shock-absorbing properties and have proven themselves in many applications. Even after use, PS foams provide a valuable source of raw materials for the production of new products. The packaging industry in particular is already successfully using various recycling systems throughout Europe.

 

HBCD-containing PS foams 

Since the 1960s, HBCD has been used as a flame retardant in foam insulation boards and was long regarded as the best solution for implementing national fire protection regulations. However, alternative flame retardants are now being used, as HBCD has been classified and banned as a pollutant since 2016. As a result, millions of tons of HBCD-containing PS foam waste can no longer be recycled as usual. A regulation for the proper handling of this waste is therefore necessary. The innovative recycling concept PSLoop will enable the recycling of HBCD-containing PS foams on an industrial scale in the future. The UNEP Basel Convention has already recognized this technology as the best available solution for recycling HBCD waste.

The PSLoop pilot plant with a capacity of 3,000 tonnes of PS waste per year is scheduled to come on stream in 2019. Companies from the entire value chain (incl. the HIRSCH Servo Group) of PS foams and the European Commission's LIFE program are providing the necessary financial resources. The project is intended to demonstrate the technical, economic and ecological viability of this new recycling process and give the go-ahead for plant construction throughout Europe.

 

Detailed information about the project can be found in the Poly Styrene Loop brochure.


The HIRSCH Servo Group

The HIRSCH Servo Group, with headquarters in Austria and 19 other manufacturing facilities in Central, East and South-East Europe, is an international company with core competencies in using EPS (expandable polystyrene), a highly versatile material. 

Our products have wide-ranging applications including packaging, insulation, shaped-molded parts for industrial use and custom solutions. Top quality, reliability, perfect logistics and a high capacity for innovation are our hallmarks.

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