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25+ million pounds
of polystyrene recycled at Allyn's Point since 2014
Pursuing new technologies and partnerships
SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY

Innovative Solutions

For 10 years, AmSty has been developing innovative solutions to recycle polystyrene and other plastics. In 2013, we designed and implemented a dissolution process at our Allyn’s Point, Connecticut, plant to recycle polystyrene post-consumer waste. We work with supply chain partners to collect the waste, remove contaminants, and dissolve it into recycled feedstock. It is then combined with fresh styrene in a reactor where it is repolymerized into polystyrene. The end product is a blend of recycled and virgin polystyrene that customers use for a variety of applications. We have recycled over 25 million pounds of polystyrene since 2014 and set a new annual record in 2022 approaching five million pounds per year, exceeding the previous annual record by 55%.

Polystyrene Recycling – Allyn’s Point (millions of pounds, cumulative)
Target
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

2,663,680

2663680

0

 

5,027,720

2663680

2364040

 

7,922,020

5027720

2894300

 

10,554,960

7922020

2632940

 

12,620,060

10554960

2065100

 

15,687,780

12620060

3067720

 

18,515,540

15687780

2827760

 

21,638,160

18515540

3122620

 

26,475,200

21638160

4837040

 
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022

Continuing on our innovation journey, in 2018 we partnered with Agilyx – a plastic recycling technology company – to create the Regenyx joint venture in Tigard, Oregon, to advance an approach that goes beyond the dissolution process at Allyn’s Point.

Regenyx

Regenyx utilizes pyrolysis to accept a wider range of reclaimed polystyrene waste than dissolution. Pyrolysis is not incineration, but instead heats the polystyrene waste in a reactor under pressure – without oxygen – to melt the waste, break it down to basic molecular compounds, gasify portions, and condense to a styrenic liquid. From there, the styrenic liquid is sent to our St. James, Louisiana, plant to be purified into styrene, and then shipped to our polystyrene plants for conversion back to polystyrene, completing a circular recycling process.

Building on those successes, we continued innovating and worked closely with the leadership at Encina to finalize a long-term offtake agreement in 2022 for Encina’s first state-of-the-art advanced recycling facility in Point Township, Pennsylvania, which is expected to come online in 2025.

Encina’s plant will utilize a wide range of plastic waste including polystyrene, polyethylene, and polypropylene, and repurpose it into a variety of recycled products, including benzene. AmSty will buy the recycled benzene – a raw material for styrene – and transform it into polystyrene, thus supporting the circular economy for polystyrene and other plastics. AmSty and Encina signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) that will provide the opportunity for AmSty to purchase up to 250 million pounds of circular feedstocks from Encina’s facilities as it ramps production capacity over time.

As we step through 2023, we continue pursuing technologies and partnerships to accelerate the pace of polystyrene recycling. Technology is advancing rapidly, and the key to success will be to properly fit the recycling opportunity with the right technology for specific locations and plastic streams.