INEOS Styrolution celebrates 90 years of Polystyrene
Polystyrene serves society for 90 years, making it one of the first polymers deployed at commercial scale
- Polystyrene is made for recycling, making it best suited for a circular economy and low-carbon economy
INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, celebrates 90 years of polystyrene, a material that has significantly contributed to societal well-being for over almost a century. Polystyrene became one of the first commercially available polymers enabling a wide range of products that enhance our daily lives. Polystyrene is made for recycling, making it the material of choice for the future.
The road to the production of polystyrene was paved in 1929 with the first patents on the production of styrene monomer from ethylbenzene and a year later for the continuous polymerisation of styrene monomer to polystyrene. The technology was perfected through 1931, when the first ready-to-use polystyrene was produced.
Today, polystyrene and styrenic polymers in general are an indispensable part of our lives. Polystyrene helps insulate our homes resulting in less energy consumption. Polystyrene is a great choice for food packaging as it helps reduce the amount of food being wasted, keeping it fresh and safe. Being both lightweight and durable, high-performance Styrenics also help to reduce the weight of cars resulting in reduced energy use and enabling longer range.
Styrenic materials are used to make life-saving applications in the healthcare industry, including virus detection kits, respiratory devices, safety goggles and face shields to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Polystyrene can be recycled via a wide range of technologies from mechanical recycling to more advanced recycling methods such as depolymerisation and pyrolysis. According to latest developments, mechanically recycled polystyrene even promises to enable food contact.
INEOS Styrolution is now focusing on advancing a circular and low-carbon economy by recycling styrenic materials including polystyrene and substituting fossil feedstock with either recycled or renewable sources in our production processes.
Alexander Glück, President EMEA, says: “INEOS Styrolution’s ECO grades are the result of our strong efforts driving our circular and low-carbon agenda forward. Our ECO portfolio includes mechanically recycled solutions as well as materials made from recycled or renewable feedstock. Both are now available commercially and products based on advanced recycling technologies will come soon. These sustainable materials continue to offer the best performance to our customers and end-consumers, with no compromise on quality or safety.”
Gregory Fordyce, President Americas, adds: “With the different recycling technology options we are actively pursuing, we are convinced that polystyrene will continue to be the material of choice for decades to come. Together with our partners, we are investing significantly into commercialising advanced recycling solutions.”
More information on INEOS Styrolution’s ECO range is available at styrolution-eco.com.
For 90 years of polystyrene overview, see https://styrolution-eco.com/90-years-polystyrene/.
 Deutsches Reichspatent DRP 550055 (August 9, 1929)
 Deutsches Reichspatent DRP 634278 (October 2, 1930)
 Deutsches Reichspatent DRP 644285 (August 15, 1931)
 See http://styrenics-circular-solutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/20210309-SCS-seeks-EFSA-opinion-on-rPS_Press-Release.pdf