• Home
  • Features
  • INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down.

INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down.

INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down.

Through its sustainability commitment “Performance up. Footprint down.”, INEOS Styrolution is addressing two mounting challenges for the plastics industry: the prevention of littering and waste, and the reduction of carbon emissions.

The company’s aim is to transition to a low-carbon, circular economy with drop-in sustainable styrenics solutions for all applications that are on par with conventional product performance.

Performance up. Footprint down. has been crystallised into three sustainability goals for INEOS Styrolution:

  • save one million tonnes of CO2e in 2030;
  • sell half a million tonnes of INEOS Styrolution ECO products in 2030;
  • guarantee 100% regulatory compliance for both its conventional and ECO products.

The company’s ultimate objective is to transform to a net-zero emissions business by 2050.

INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down. 

INEOS Styrolution has already made significant progress by scaling up its ECO portfolio (comprising recycled and bio-attributed styrenics products). Its broad portfolio of ECO products (including polystyrene, ABS, ASA, SAN, SBC, and SMMA) can be used as a drop-in solution by customers, which means that ECO products can be produced using existing machinery and equipment with no additional technology or investments. 


INEOS Styrolution developed a strategic roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions, and is already implementing four of these clusters today.

INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down. 

The company is already switching its feedstock from hydrocarbon-based fossil to more circular and renewable materials. Their aim is to become more circular and close the loop at the end-of-life phase of its products.

It is investing in mechanical and advanced recycling of its polystyrene and ABS products, which should significantly reduce carbon emissions, reduce waste, and keep valuable materials in use for longer life cycles. INEOS Styrolution is also integrating renewable feedstock that complies with the sustainability criteria set by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). In other words, feedstock switching. Both of these options offer a lower carbon footprint than conventional solutions.

The third cluster is fuel switching or the switch to green energy, which amounts to approximately one third of the CO2 emissions the company wants to reduce by 2030. And finally, the biggest cluster is process optimisations and investments in its manufacturing sites to bring energy efficiency up and carbon emissions down.

INEOS Styrolution has committed to spend up to €1 billion euros by the year 2030 to advance these technologies. Longer-term, the company will also look at other options such as carbon capture, storage and utilisation or carbon offsetting if required.

To date, INEOS Styrolution has saved 10% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to its 2019 baseline, primarily through investments in its manufacturing sites and strategic switches to clean energy..


The one unique strength of styrenics products, and in particular polystyrene, is that compared to other polymers, every major recycling technology can be applied to styrenics.

The traditional petrochemical value chain is very simple and linear: fossil fuel feedstock is converted into monomers, then to polymers; which is used to manufacture products for consumers and then disposed as waste. INEOS Styrolution aims to stop waste going to landfills, being incinerated, and the proliferation of litter in general, and focus on accelerating recycling. It has different technology options available, clustered into three different loops based on the entry point back into the value chain.

INEOS Styrolutions: Performance up. Footprint down. 

First, there is polymer-to-polymer path with mechanical recycling and dissolution (solvent-based recycling). Then there is depolymerisation (polymer-to-monomer). This is a more styrenic-specific technology, because polystyrene has the unique ability to break down into its building block when it is exposed to heat in the right setting, bringing it to the monomer level. Then there is pyrolysis and gasification that uses mixed plastic waste that ends up at the feedstock level (polymer-to-feedstock).

In the polymer-to-feedstock stage, there is more flexibility in terms of the waste that can be used and the products that can be manufactured from them. In the polymer-to-polymer stage, the CO2 footprint decreases further, so there is a trade-off between all of these technologies. Therefore, all technologies are needed because they are truly complementary to each other.

What else makes the recycling performance of styrenics unequalled?

First, there is a very low contamination uptake in the waste collection phase, keeping styrenics waste relatively clean. Styrenics are easily detectable and sortable from different polymers that match conventional quality levels, so can be steered into the optimum recycling processes easily, and have an excellent CO2 footprint.

Polystyrene is uniquely suited for food-contact to food-contact recycling. And it can undergo multiple mechanical recycling cycles while still retaining its property profile.


Styrenics are safe. This fact applies to INEOS Styrolution’s conventional products as well as its ECO products. The company will continue to ensure the performance quality and safety of its entire portfolio with diligent efforts into proofing every new feedstock – be it recycled or renewable. INEOS Styrolution is also investing in its capabilities and have taken significant steps to comply with all regulatory requirements.


What does the company require to make all of this happen?

Green energy is an important element of CO2 reduction. Fuel switches are an important and prompt enabler to bring carbon emissions down. But the plastics industry is not the only industry that has a demand for green energy. So, supply needs to go up to meet the rise in demand. Additionally, green power infrastructure must be developed. Otherwise, green power could become a bottleneck in a couple of years.

Today, a sufficient volume of waste is the bottleneck and a limiting factor for many recycling projects. Well-regulated and expanded collection systems are needed so that the plastics industry has access to an adequate supply of waste to deliver products with recycled content.

There are different waste qualities available, and to allow for the high recycling rates  - different recycling technologies need to be implemented. To ensure that there have a full suite of comprehensive recycling technologies available, full industry and regulatory acceptance of advanced recycling and mass balance is required, as a complement to mechanical recycling.

As the plastics industry continues to advance new circular and low carbon technology, INEOS Styrolution is confident in delivering on its commitment of “Performance up. Footprint down”.  Its goals are ambitious, but achievable - a million tonnes less CO2 emissions, 500,000 tonnes of sales of ECO products, and 100% regulatory and safety compliance – and in the long term, a net-zero business by 2050. 

  • autor:
  • INEOS Styrolution Group GmbH

You might also be interested


Latest Classifieds

Upcoming Events

Branch Dictionary