• European Plastics Converters

Trinseo: "1 month - 1 member"

The new edition of month “1 month – 1 member” will highlight Trinseo who develops new, sustainable-advantaged polycarbonate grade for extrusion.



Trinseo set for itself ambitious Sustainability Goals to be achieved by 2030, grouped into five main categories: climate change, sustainable product portfolio, supplier responsibility, responsible operations, and a sustainable workforce. In terms of a sustainable product portfolio, 30% of Trinseo's technology and innovation/R&D efforts will be aimed for circular solutions by 2025, and by 2030, 40% of Trinseo’s products will be sustainably advantaged.


As part of its efforts to meet the 2030 Sustainability Goals, Trinseo has developed a mechanical recycled polycarbonate (PC) containing version of its CALIBRE™ 302-5 TC030004, a transparent cool blue tinted PC grade designed for solid sheet extrusion, which can also be used for low complexity multi-wall sheet extrusion.


The new grade is called “ECO50” which means the product contains 50% post-consumer recycle (PCR) PC content. The PCR PC is sourced with the help of Heathland, a recycler that was recently acquired by Trinseo. Heathland ensures reliable access to high purity, clean shreds of PC big water bottles at the end of their life.


The mechanical recycled PC shreds are processed alongside prime fossil-based PC exiting from the PC polymer train in a 1/1 ratio. Compared to the all-prime CALIBRE™ 302-5, the ECO50 version represents a reduction in global warming potential (GWP) of approximately 37% *. Furthermore, the direct processing approach of the PC shreds, brings an additional CO2 emission saving of approximately 0.33 kg CO2 eq/kg **, versus a large industrial-scale compounding of pelletized PCR PC shreds and PC pellets.


By means of proprietary stabilization technology, the development of the ECO50 version tackled challenges of substantial mol weight losses and color shifts related to the use of PCR PC shreds. As such, Trinseo can provide a stable melt mass flow rate (MFR) of 5 g/10min (300°C/1.2kg ISO 1133) and a stable neutral tint. Polycarbonate is a homo-polymer, hence its mechanical and heat properties are mainly driven by its molecular weight and carbonate backbone structure. Consequently, impact, heat, reaction to fire and extrusion processing properties, are comparable to fossil-based CALIBRE™ 302-5, validated by internal and external testing, on Trinseo in-house extruded 2mm thick solid sheets. The light transmission is lower because of the relatively dark blue and variable tints of the end-of-life big water PC bottle shreds, which also require some degree of over-coloring. As the recycled PC shreds are based on branched PC, the CALIBRE™ 302-5 ECO50, is also adequate for multi-wall sheet extrusion.


Trinseo has trial quantities available and foresees commercialization in 2023. Alongside the biobased CALIBRE™ BIO71 series, the development of the CALIBRE™ ECO50 series demonstrates Trinseo’s commitment to meeting its sustainability goal of making 40% of its products sustainable advantaged by 2030, and bringing value to customers, through the allocation of a substantial part of its technology and innovation efforts to circular and low carbon solutions.





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™ Trademark of Trinseo

* Based on Trinseo internal LCA calculations using GWP for the raw materials

** Based on Trinseo internal LCA calculations using electricity grid mix for Germany



End of life big water bottles



Big water bottle shreds



Feeding of big water bottle shreds at Trinseo PC plant



PC pellets and 2 mm thick Trinseo in-house extruded solid sheet thereof





For more information on Trinseo: https://www.trinseo.com/