rPS4FoodPackaging - Polystyrene Recycling for food contact applications

The production of recycled plastics for food contact applications is challenging. Besides recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) for beverage bottles, there are few alternatives in recycled plastics. This project focuses on researching a novel recycling process for polystyrene, aiming for approval of recycled polystyrene (rPS) for food contact applications.

Short Description

Running Time

01.12.2022 – 30.11.2025


In the search for alternatives to recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) as a recycled plastic for food contact applications, few results can be found. Although there are some approvals for other recycled plastics around the world, broad market penetration does not exist due to lack of realization of large volumes.

In addition to polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS) is currently being used as a virgin polymer for food packaging applications. In particular, the use of PS is common in packaging for dairy products due to the property profile of this polymer. Studies show that recycling processes that led to approval of rPET for food contact packaging can also be applied to recycled polystyrene (rPS). However, specific adaptations are required to function properly. This project aims to identify waste streams of PS from original food contact applications, make them useful for further processing, transfer them to a recycling process which will be developed for approval of rPS for food contact applications, and test them on rPS products. The data collected in this project will serve as the basis for a procedure for the approval of rPS for food contact applications.

Project Partners

Project management

Assoc. Prof. DI Dr. Jörg Fischer


Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing & LIT Factory

Partners of the project consortium

1 Scientific Partner

  • Johannes Kepler University Linz, LIT Factory

3 Company Partner

  • Greiner Packaging International GmbH
  • Next Generation Recyclingmaschinen GmbH
  • PreZero Polymers Austria GmbH

Contact Address

Assoc. Prof. DI Dr. Jörg Fischer
Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Polymeric Materials and Testing & LIT Factory
Altenberger Strasse 69
4040 Linz, Austria

+43 732 2468 6610