Trinseo | Trinseo and Fernholz Commercialize Recycled Polystyrene (r-PS) for Food Packaging
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September 14, 2020

Trinseo and Fernholz Commercialize Recycled Polystyrene (r-PS) for Food Packaging

Trinseo (NYSE: TSE), a global supplier of material solutions and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, announced today that it has developed a new grade of post-consumer recycled polystyrene, together with the German packaging manufacturer Fernholz. The latest Form Fill Seal (FFS) formulations incorporate 40% r-PS, depending on final application, thanks to Trinseo’s unique technology, which embeds the material into the polymerization process using solvent processes.

“With r-PS technology, we have developed a process that will help the plastics industry conserve resources and reduce oil consumption,” said Nicolas Joly, Vice President Plastics & Feedstocks at Trinseo. “We are very pleased to work with Fernholz as our collaboration partner to jointly respond to consumer and market expectations, offering companies a tangible solution for more sustainable packaging.” 

Fernholz is working closely with Trinseo to incorporate r-PS into sheet production, which can be used for food packaging applications in compliance with food safety requirements. To date, full-scale field tests for processing, migration, sensory testing and other common parameters have revealed that r-PS can be readily processed on classic FFS machines, eliminating the need for costly equipment upgrades.

“The feedback we have received from customers so far has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Uwe Fernholz, Managing Director at Fernholz. “The market has been waiting for a solution like this for a long time. As a result of the positive feedback, we are very confident that this breakthrough in recycled packaging made from polystyrene will help the value chain to meet its sustainability goals.”

The new material grade is already being trialed by several European dairy companies, some of whom have already launched new products using the recycled polystyrene food packaging. As one of the few materials with PCR content available in large quantities, Trinseo has the capacity to supply the dairy industry and related sectors with several thousand tons of the material. Furthermore, due to the recycling technology involved in the process, mono-material packaging, though preferable, is not mandatory. The lid or label can be safely separated as part of the recycling process.


About Fernholz

W. u. H. Fernholz GmbH & Co. KG develops and produces modern packaging solutions and sheets made of thermoplastics and employs 220 people. The company was founded in 1963 and operates two sites in Germany where approx. 2,000 t of plastics are processed every month for around 2.5 billion packaging per year. At its headquarters in Meinerzhagen in South Westphalia/ Germany, Fernholz manufactures packaging using thermoforming and injection molding processes as well as extrusion sheets made of polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The second plant in Schkopau specializes in the production of PP and PS sheets, in particular for Form-Fill-Seal (FFS) systems in the dairy industry.

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About Trinseo

Trinseo (NYSE:TSE) is a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber. We are focused on delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to help our customers create products that touch lives every day — products that are intrinsic to how we live our lives — across a wide range of end-markets, including automotive, consumer electronics, appliances, medical devices, lighting, electrical, carpet, paper and board, building and construction, and tires. Trinseo had approximately $3.8 billion in net sales in 2019, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,700 employees. For more information visit

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