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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

LIFE PolyStyrene Loop

Offer polystyrene a second life

PolyStyrene Loop. All rights reserved.
Licensed to the European Union under conditions.


Building on our expertise in producing and recycling raw materials, Symbra B.V. provides expanded polystyrene for industrial products and insulation systems. Our company employs some 900 workers in facilities across the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Portugal, bringing environmentally sustainable solutions to European markets.

Larger with Life

Between 2017-2021, the EU LIFE Programme is investing €2.7 million in the €8.4 million PolyStyrene Loop project to collect polystyrene waste from demolition sites and return it to usable condition. Europe’s construction sector discards some 200 000 tonnes of polystyrene foam each year. Synbra is working partners including ICL-IP, a raw materials supplier in the Netherlands, to pioneer a sustainable alternative for recycling this waste.

EU added value

  • Halt polystyrene incineration in the EU
  • Cut emissions of harmful gases like CO
  • Save energy and petrochemicals


  • Pilot plant could easily double capacity
  • 15 recycling plants planned across the EU
  • Polystyrene CO2 emissions down 78%


  • Built a demonstration plant capable of recycling 3 000 tonnes of polystyrene each year
  • Presented a business plan that pays companies up to €0.25 per kg of polystyrene waste
  • Commended by EU and national authorities for contributions to the circular economy agenda
  • Disseminated the benefits of polystyrene

Policy support

  • Recycle plastic as set out in the European strategy for plastics in a circular economy
  • Substitute harmful chemicals with safer substances in line with Europe’s REACH Regulation
  • Tailor the polystyrene value chain to the 2011 roadmap to a resource efficient Europe
20 DECEMBER 2023
PolyStyrene Loop