The new facility will use more than 100,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste to produce quality plastics made with recycled content
Speciality materials company Eastman Chemical has unveiled plans to construct a plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facility at its Kingsport site in the US state of Tennessee.
The company will invest around $250m over the next two years to build the new facility, which will allow the company to address the waste crisis and challenges associated with climate change.
Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said: “I’d like to thank the company for investing in Kingsport and its highly skilled workforce, and for focusing on innovative technology that enhances the quality of life for people not just in Tennessee, but around the world.”
Eastman’s world-scale facility uses methanolysis to convert polyester waste into durable products, thereby helping to boost the circular economy.
The facility, which uses the company’s polyester renewal technology, will utilise more than 100,000 metric tonnes of plastic waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods to manufacture quality plastics made with recycled content.
Eastman stated that the process of using plastic waste as the main feedstock is a true material-to-material solution that will allow the company to reduce the use of fossil feedstocks and minimise its greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30% relative to fossil feedstocks.
Slated to be mechanically completed by the end of 2022, the facility will help the company to achieve its sustainability commitments, including recycling over 500 million pounds of plastic waste per annum by 2030 through molecular recycling technologies.
Eastman has pledged to recycle more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste per annum by 2025.
Eastman Chemical board chair and CEO Mark Costa said: “With the growing demand for products made with recycled content and the urgent need to address the global plastic waste crisis, now is the time for Eastman to take this step.
“We are grateful for our partnership with Governor Lee in making today’s announcement possible.”
In August last year, Eastman partnered with Thai-based brand Qualy for the creation of Lucky Mouse Storage Jars.