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Eastman to invest up to US$1 billion in molecular recycling facility in France
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:18.Jan.2022

French President Emmanuel Macron and Eastman announced Eastman's plan to invest up to US$1 billion in a material-to-material molecular recycling facility in France. This facility would use Eastman's polyester renewal technology to recycle up to 160,000 metric tonnes annually of hard-to-recycle plastic waste that is currently being incinerated.

 

The investment would recycle enough plastic waste annually to fill Stade de France national football stadium 2.5 times, while also creating virgin-quality material with a significantly lower carbon footprint.

 

This multi-phase project includes units that would prepare mixed plastic waste for processing, a methanolysis unit to depolymerize the waste, and polymer lines to create a variety of first-quality materials for specialty, packaging, and textile applications.

 

Eastman also plans to establish an innovation center for molecular recycling that would enable France to sustain a leadership role in the circular economy. This innovation center would advance alternative recycling methods and applications to curb plastic waste incineration and leave fossil feedstock in the ground. The plant and innovation center would be expected to be operational by 2025.


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Eastman to invest up to US$1 billion to accelerate circular economy through building large molecular plastics recycling facility in France.


Eastman's polyester renewal technology provides true circularity for hard-to-recycle plastic waste that remains in a linear economy today. This material is typically incinerated because it either cannot be mechanically recycled or must be downcycled with existing technology. This hard-to-recycle waste is broken down into its molecular building blocks and then reassembled to become first-quality material without any compromise in performance.

 

The technology enables the potentially infinite value of materials by keeping them in production, lifecycle after lifecycle. With the technology's inherent efficiencies and the renewable energy sources available in France, materials can be produced with greenhouse gas emissions up to 80% less than traditional methods.

 

"Accelerating the transition to a circular economy is one of the main challenges in the years to come. Eastman's substantial investment in France demonstrates our country's willingness to embrace innovative technologies that will help us achieve our ecological and economic ambitions, by revolutionizing our country's plastics recycling capacities," said Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition.

 

"The investment in France is a significant step forward in Eastman's strategy to accelerate a circular economy globally. Eastman is proud to partner with the French government to actively contribute to France's and the EU's bold commitments," Mark Costa, Eastman's CEO, remarked. "France has demonstrated their commitment toward a sustainable future and Eastman has set similar, ambitious carbon and circular economy goals."

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