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Quebec company’s innovative technology means polystyrene (styrofoam) can be recycled


We’re all familiar with that white chunky packaging that’s snug around all our electronics. But styrofoam or polystyrene is very difficult to recycle, with few exceptions. Polystyvert, a company in Quebec, has developed a process that not only makes polystyrene recyclable but enhances its “green” factor.

Founded in 2011, the company provides expanded polystyrene (EPS) containers they call concentrators for on-site collection at the business sites where the polystyrene is. Once filled with up to 66o pounds of EPS, the material is then dissolved with a proprietary mixture of essential oils.This reduces the material by around 95 percent.

Polystyvert concentrator

The concentrators are then collected and taken to Polystyvert where the essential oils are removed. The PS is then recycled and made into new products including food packaging. The oils are distilled for reuse. All this dramatically cuts the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted from transportation and potential landfilling.

Polystyrene 2

The company is growing and so far has established two public drop-off locations. It also recently raised $4.9 million in financing. It plans to use $3.7 of that to build a new, larger processing plant that’s capable of handing larger volumes of PS. And it’s very likely they’ll do a brisk business with so much polystyrene out there. Nice to know one more non-recyclable is getting a bit greener.

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