The 2019 Plastics Recycling Conference will open with a highly anticipated session bringing virgin plastics manufacturers to the stage to discuss their work pushing for circular economy solutions for polymers.
Participating on the panel will be Jon Timbers, senior manager of innovation and sustainability at Americas Styrenics (AmSty). AmSty last year signed an offtake agreement with Agilyx, which breaks down scrap polystyrene into styrene monomers. Those monomers can then be used to make new plastic.
AmSty also recently signed a letter of intent to form a joint venture with Agilyx, deepening its involvement with the chemical recycling technology.
Why should conference attendees make sure to hear your presentation during the opening plenary?
The plastics industry is changing, and the future looks nothing like what we’ve seen before. Come hear my talk to learn about what the changes are on the horizon.
How is Americas Styrenics doing business with the recycling industry?
AmSty is engaged with recycling on many fronts. Our ultimate goal is to work with recyclers to collect and convert post-consumer plastics back into products completely indistinguishable from virgin products. In the short term, since feedstocks made from post-consumer plastics are not readily available, we engage with the recycling industry to help increase collection. AmSty has also been heavily involved with the Foam Recycling Coalition over the past four years to provide recycling infrastructure grants in areas where foodservice product recycling can be improved.
“Our ultimate goal is to work with recyclers to collect and convert post-consumer plastics back into products completely indistinguishable from virgin products.”
Could you tell us a little more about AmSty’s deal with Agilyx, a pyrolysis company that is producing styrene monomers?
This technology is a game-changer in polystyrene recycling, and we feel like we have expertise in manufacturing technology that will help bring this technology to scale quicker if we work with Agilyx as joint venture partners.
What is driving virgin plastics producers’ recent embrace of recycling?
I would say that virgin plastics producers have embraced recycling for many years, although there does seem to be a heightened interest in collaboration between producers and recyclers. In the simplest terms, our customers are demanding more. Companies today are in tune with their consumers’ needs unlike ever before. Plastics producers are no exception.
What are you hoping to personally get out of the upcoming Plastics Recycling Conference?
The best takeaway from a conference is when you make a connection that accelerates you towards taking actions you never even imagined. So that’s what I’m hoping for at this conference.
Timbers will be speaking on the opening plenary titled “Prime Plastic’s Circular Strategies,” to be held 8:30-10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12. Joining him will be Ted Harris from Total Petrochemicals and representatives from LyondellBasell and other plastics stakeholders. See more details at the Plastics Recycling Conference website.