MONTREAL -- A Quebec-based company believes it's found a way to recycle Styrofoam, and the provincial government is betting big on the project, by offering up a $7-million loan on Friday.

Right now in Quebec, polystyrene plastics used in Styrofoam and yogurt containers aren't recyclable – in fact, anything with a number 6 on it should not go in the recycling bin.

But Quebec company Pyrowave says it's found a way to break down number 6 plastics so they can be reused.

“We attack the chemistry of the plastic itself and we use chemistry to recycle it back into root applications," explained Jocelyn Doucet of Pyrowave.

First, the plastics are shredded, then using the company's microwave technology, the chemical compounds are broken up, decomposed into an intermediary product. The chemicals are then purified.

That resulting chemical solution is virtually identical to the raw materials plastics manufacturers buy from petro-chemical companies that make them using fossil fuels.

"Ultimately our target is that our adopters are going to use our technology to source raw chemicals from waste instead of sourcing raw chemicals from fossil source, and therefore reduce our carbon footprint," said Doucet.

The Quebec government is loaning Pyrowave $7 million to help upgrade its facility in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

"This is about using the technology to recycle some of the post-consumer plastic and to recycle them into a styrene, which we hope will also be used by local manufacturers, so I think it's a great project for the circular economy,” said Economy and Innovation Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.

The entire recycling process runs on electric energy, which in Quebec is a zero-carbon resource.

Doucet said that's a first for the chemical industry.

"Thinking outside of the box and bringing new technologies like microwave platforms is a way to start greening the chemical industry and bringing new innovation to the market," Doucet said.

Getting manufacturers on board, though, might take further government action – it's still cheaper to buy chemicals made from fossil fuels than recycled waste.

Regulations requiring the use of recycled materials in consumer products could change that, giving value to the unwanted and previously unusable plastics that right now end up in the landfill.