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In addition to offering world class products that provide many performance benefits in the marketplace, Styron is committed to:
- Understanding the impacts of our products throughout their life cycle by helping to develop Eco-Profiles, also known as Life Cycle Analyses (LCAs);
- Providing straightforward communication about our products and operations; and
- Continuously improving our health, safety and environmental performance.
In order to determine the potential environmental impacts associated with various materials, it is important to collect and analyze data from multiple sources so that an accurate eco-profile of each material can be created. Styron contributed to the creation of eco-profiles for plastic products both in Europe and North America to help the downstream industries make well-informed product decisions.
Beginning in 1990, the Association of Plastics Manufacturers in Europe (now PlasticsEurope) pioneered the first eco-profiles for virtually all types of plastics materials, and the Styron businesses(2) played a key role in collecting and contributing cradle-to-gate data for its polystyrene and polycarbonate resins. Using Life Cycle Analysis, the PlasticsEurope team gathered data from various companies and consolidated that data into average Life Cycle Inventories. Energy and raw materials used, water consumption, emissions and waste are just some of the variables analyzed to create each eco-profile. These eco-profiles are currently being refreshed, and, with assistance from Styron, an updated eco-profile for polycarbonate resins was released in 2011.
In 1999, Styron supported the creation of eco-profiles of the production of latex polymer dispersions in association with the European Polymer Dispersion and Latex Association (a sector group of the European Chemical Industry Council, or Cefic). This work included eco-profile information on the main precursors used in the production of latex dispersions. This latex eco-profile was updated in 2012.
More recently, Styron was instrumental in the establishment of cradle-to-gate life cycle inventories of plastic resins and polyurethane precursors for The Plastics Division of the American Chemistry Council. Styron’s past and present contributions to eco-profiles demonstrate the company’s rich heritage of environmental and product stewardship and its commitment to advancing the sustainability of its products and processes.
LCAs for individual resins and full LCAs for select products may be found on the American Chemistry Council’s web site. To view eco-profiles on various plastics products from the European database, visit www.plasticseurope.org.