A new generation of plastics
Molecular recycling allows an infinite recycling of numerous plastics. Because it brings plastics back to their native, virgin-like state, molecular recycling gives access to the same markets as the virgin resins, thus creating a new generation of plastics!
Types of plastic
7% (#1 PET)
15% (#2 HDPE)
16% (#3 PVC)
17% (#4 LDPE)
23% (#5 PP)
7% (#6 PS)
15% (#7 Other)
The main styrene manufacturers
In North America, about 6M tonnes of styrene is produced and more than 90% is supplied by 5 major players in the chemical industry.
These companies are INEOS Styrolution with 29% market share, followed by Lyondellbasell (21%), Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA (19%), America Styrenics, a subsidiary of Chevron-Phillips (16%), and Shell (8%).
29% market share
INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenic supplier with a focus on styrene monomers, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including Automotive, Electronics, Household, Construction, Healthcare, Packaging and Toys/ Sports/ Leisure. In 2018, sales were at 5.4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,500 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.
21% market share
LyondellBasell (NYSE: LYB) is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world's largest producer of polymer compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technology.
16% market share
AmSty is a leading integrated producer of polystyrene and styrene monomers, offering solutions and services to customers in a variety of markets throughout the Americas. Positioned as the second-largest polystyrene producer and the third-largest styrene producer in the Americas, AmSty brings competitive and technological advantages to its customers. AmSty is a joint venture equally owned by Trinseo LLC and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP.
Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA
Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA
19% market share
Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. (TPRI) is headquartered in Houston and is a major producer of polypropylene, polystyrene, styrene, base chemicals and polyethylene in the United States.
Their refinery manufactures transportation fuels and other petroleum-based products for the global market. The company employs more than 1,600 who work in support of manufacturing and research/development activities in Texas and Louisiana.Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc is part of the Refining-Petrochemicals Americas Segment of Total S.A., one of the largest integrated international oil and gas companies with operations in more than 130 countries worldwide.
As a fundamental part of one of the world’s largest energy companies, Total Petrochemicals & Refining USA, Inc. brings the scope and depth that our customers and partners demand. That, coupled with a long history in the United States, enables Total to exceed the expectations of its customers and partners.
8% market share
Shell has been operating in Canada for over 100 years and employs more than 4,000 people across the country. Our business is providing energy to Canadians and people around the world, and we are one of the few truly integrated oil and gas companies in Canada.
Recycled Styrene in Sustainable Packaging
In recent years, PS packaging has grown considerably in many industries. This is mainly due to their positive features such as lightweight, insulating properties, versatility and low cost. Polystyrene is found in many packaging and consumer products; Styrofoam packaging (EPS expanded to 98% air), yogurt pots and PS protection.
Polystyrene is found in many packaging and consumer products; Styrofoam packaging (EPS expanded to 98% air), yogurt cups and PS protection.
Types of containers and packaging (source: Recyc-Québec)
- Protecting packaging in expanded PS (EPS)
Molded or flat shapes used to protect fragile objects from breakage during transportation
- Food packaging or food container in expanded PS (EPS)
Sanitary and insulated containers used in food service, such as coffee glasses and cups
- Packaging or food container from extruded PS (XPS)
Sanitary and insulated food packaging such as meat trays and flap-top containers
- Package or containers made of high-impact PS "HIPS PS" – HIPS
Thermoformed or injection molded containers such as mushroom trays, yogurt cups in single portion packs and disposable tableware
- Standard General Purpose PS Pack or Container – GPPS
Injection molded containers: thermoformed containers with flap-top covers such as bakery containers and CD and DVD cases
Recycled Styrene in Sustainable Transportation
Used in large quantities in the manufacture of tires for cars and heavy trucks, styrene-butadiene rubber is the most widely used type of synthetic rubber, with an annual North American production of approximately 490 kilotons. Its manufacture requires between 15% and 40% styrene.
As this rubber is less expensive and more resistant to abrasion, it becomes an alternative to natural rubber. In the coming years, this type of synthetic rubber should be the largest on the market.
Recycled Styrene for Sustainable Building
Expanded polystyrene is widely used in the construction business for insulation to increase the energy efficiency of buildings. In addition, styrene is included in the composition of unsaturated polyester resins (UPR) found in reinforced fibreglass applications, used in different structures because of its lightweight and durability.
In the coming years, growth in the construction business resulting from urban development in emerging economies is expected to boost UPR demand. UPR is also increasingly used in the manufacture of tanks and lines in the chemical industry because of its great heat resistance and hydrolytic stability. Other UPR markets include transportation, marine, electricity, artificial stone, aerospace, wind energy and the automotive industry.
Recycled Styrene and Sustainable Health
Styrene-butadiene latex is commonly used in applications such as medical gloves and glossy coatings for magazines, circulars, catalogs and cardboard products. These coatings provide gloss, good printability and resistance to oil and water.
The SB latex is also used in carpet frames. Thanks to this coating, the SB latex backing layer provides water resistance and keeps the mats in place. SB latex also has a high-bonding capacity and pigment strength, making it the polymer of choice for adhesives in the flooring industry, among others.
Polyethylene (PE) Packaging
Polyethylene is one of the most widely used polymers. Whether it is white or coloured, it is available in a wide variety of formulations, sturdy and moisture-proof. HDPE and LDPE are the most widely used plastics.
Types of PE and their uses
High density PE (HDPE - plastic # 2)
The main applications of HDPE are rigid products: films, soft plastics, bags, bottles (detergents, cosmetics), bottles, Tupperware-type boxes, bottles of laundry soap and shampoo, containers of milk or juice, shopping bags, boilers and medicine bottles.
- Rigidity, strength, opacity, impermeability to chemicals, moisture and gases (e.g., bottles of detergent or bleach)
- Cold resistance (e.g., ice cream containers)
- Allows the manufacture of bulky containers (e.g., 4-litre bottles)
- Flexibility and strength (e.g., shopping bags)
Low density PE (LDPE – plastic # 4)
The main applications of LDPE are flexible products: bags, films, bags, garbage bags, adhesive tape, flexible containers (ketchup, moisturizing creams), etc.
Polypropylene Packaging (PP – plastic #5)
Polypropylene is a translucent white plastic. Because of its hard, shiny surface, polypropylene can be in contact with food and is suitable for environments affected by the presence of bacteria.
The main uses are: Plastic tableware, reusable food containers, water bottles, butter or margarine packaging, yogurt containers, straws.