Successful completion of the ‘PSLoop Project’

MARCH 29TH, 2024 Recycling Technology for Expanded Polystyrene containing legislated HBCD proven to be successful

Over the last years the EPS industry has invested significant amounts of financial resources and technical support effort into the ‘PSLoop Project’, a demonstration plant in Terneuzen (NL) designed to prove that the proprietary solvent-based recycling technology can successfully remove the legacy flame retardant HBCD from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) waste. PSLoop has managed to continuously run their production process in the medium scale demonstration plant, producing ‘LoopPS’ recyclate. The project managed to fullill the UN requirements for UTC (unintentional trace contaminant). This is crucial as it enables the recycled material to meet the regulatory requirement for use in EPS/XPS construction applications, and indeed the Loop PS recyclate has been successfully converted into new EPS raw material, and subsequently moulded into insulation boards. Hence it has been demonstrated for the first time ever that closed loop recycling is possible with deconstruction EPS waste containing HBCD. The PS Loop technology has thus proven its technical readiness level for investment in future commercial scale recycling plants. The outstanding milestone of destruction of the removed HBCD (as required by the Basel Convention Technical Guideline) with recovery of bromine for use in production of sustainable polymeric flame retardant will be finalized over the coming weeks, and will be executed using already proven destruction and recovery technology.

Having achieved the main objective, the stakeholders have now decided to complete their financial contribution and have PS Loop look for external investors.

Like several other recycling units in Europe, PSLoop has struggled with high energy costs, and the bureaucracy and uncertainty of legislation for the handling of waste and in particular for trans-border waste shipments.  The situation is exacerbated by the industry facing increasing imports of virgin raw material stemming from non-European countries undercutting European health, safety, and environment standards.  These shipments impede the competitiveness of recyclates produced in Europe, making it more challenging for PS Loop to already produce a competitively priced product.

Future investment in the use of the proven PS Loop technology in commercial scale recycling plants will also likely require clearer organization and regulation of demolition waste (mandatory collection and sorting along with an enforced ban on landfill of EPS waste) in order to guarantee sufficient HBCD containing EPS waste feedstock.

The successful demonstration of the PSLoop technology has resulted from good cooperation of only a handful of EPS raw material producers, converters and a flame retardant manufacturer but is in particular the result of the dedication, hard work and commitment of all the staff at PS Loop and its shareholder, the GEC Group.

The stakeholders remain committed to recycling EPS, and in particular to the innovative solvent based (physical recycling) process which we believe has the potential to revolutionise the circular economy for plastics. The stakeholders however embrace the entire range of available technologies for recycling, and are also investing in various different technologies. The stakeholders therefore believe that for recycling there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution, but rather bespoke approaches are needed as the structure and origins of waste are very diverse.

Press contact: Richard Geevers +31 115 793 020, Email: info@psloop.eu

Investor relations: Michael Küblbeck +49 8582 18 2674