Recycled Content Containing Resins

Trinseo meets the demand for sustainable, environmentally-friendly materials with a portfolio of resins that contain recycled content.

With its ECO series materials, Trinseo has mastered the process of combining virgin and recycled content to achieve the exact properties needed for an application. In fact, we are able to create a material with up to 95 percent recycled content with performance properties consistent with an all virgin material.

This includes ultra-bright white and transparent options — both difficult to achieve with recycled content added.

Recycling feedstocks explained - watch the video:

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Trinseo offers materials with both Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) content (plastic waste that was previously used by a consumer, then reclaimed and recycled) and also with Post-Industrial Recycled (PIR) content (plastic waste generated during the production process after it has left the original production facility.)  Our PCR materials are known as EMERGE™ ECO Advanced Resins; our PIR materials are called PULSE™ ECO PC/ABS Resins.

Trinseo’s footwear arm, API, received the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) accreditation for three of its thermoplastic elastomers (TPU). These materials – all branded APILON™ 52 ECO –contain up to 50% PIR content. To achieve this certification, Trinseo has been working closely with its customer VAMAS for the past five years on a closed-loop initiative to secure scrap material straight from the luxury footwear maker’s manufacturing floor and feed it back into virgin material for reprocessing.

To learn more about this process, please watch the video:

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Since Trinseo started developing recycled-content-containing materials nearly a decade ago, our R&D and TS&D teams have overcome numerous challenges. We understand the importance of and have first-hand experience with recycled feedstock availability and quality concerns, reliable sourcing, and ways to balance material performance properties to ensure the integrity of an end-use application. 

We also know the complexity of recycled material creation ranging from additional development time to ensure optimized mechanical performance, to cleaning and processing steps, to added quality control. 

Recently, Trinseo engaged thinkstep, a sustainability consulting, software and data organization, to perform life cycle analysis (LCA) on its EMERGE™ ECO PC and PC/ABS compared with virgin materials and PULSE™ ECO GX50 and GX70 compared with virgin equivalents. 

Parameters evaluated were:

  • Reduction in water consumption
  • Reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
  • Reduction in energy consumption

In all cases, Trinseo ECO resins had a favorable environmental impact. Following is a chart with the results from the LCA on EMERGE ECO PC and PC/ABS.  The LCA on PULSE ECO had similar results and can be found on the PULSE ECO Series Resins page.

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