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1 month ago
The Regenyx recycling facility took in polystyrene — a hard-to-recycle plastic used for products like coffee cups, egg cartons and meat trays — and melted it right down to its building blocks, ready to be made into new products.

The process, which used a technology called chemical recycling, could be done an infinite number of times, according to Agilyx, the company behind the facility, saving waste polystyrene from landfill, incineration or around 500 years of clogging up streets, rivers or oceans. Last month, however, after only five years of operating, Regenyx closed its doors.

Regenyx's closure is just the latest sign of the deep struggles facing chemical recycling, said Jennifer Congdon deputy director of the non-profit Beyond Plastics.The plastic industry is pitching this technology, also known as advanced recycling, as a great new hope in the battle against the plastic pollution crisis. But critics say it's failing to meet the hype, plagued by missed targets, plants closed or shelved and reports of fires and spills.

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📸 : Sergio Flores/AFP/Getty Images

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