Eastman to build $1bn molecular plastics recycling facility in France

Eastman, a US-based specialty materials company, has revealed plans to invest $1 billion to build a material-to-material molecular plastics recycling facility in France.

The molecular plastics recycling plant will use the company’s polyester renewal technology for recycling up to 160,000 metric tonnes per year of hard-to-recycle plastic waste that is presently being destroyed.

According to Eastman, the plastic waste recycled by the plant annually is equivalent to filling up Stade de France national football stadium 2.5 times. Besides, the molecular plastics recycling facility will produce virgin-quality material with a considerably lower carbon footprint, said the American specialty materials company.

The multi-phase project includes units for preparing mixed plastic waste for processing, a methanolysis facility for depolymerizing the waste, and polymer lines to produce a range of first-quality materials for specialty, textile, and packaging applications.

Eastman also intends to set up a molecular recycling innovation center to help France maintain a leadership role in the circular economy.

The innovation center will take forward alternative recycling methods and applications to limit incineration of plastic waste, while leaving fossil feedstock in the ground.

Eastman expects to begin operations at the molecular plastic recycling facility and the innovation center by 2025.

Eastman to invest $1bn to build a molecular plastics recycling facility in France

Eastman to invest $1bn to build a molecular plastics recycling facility in France. Photo courtesy of Eastman.

The molecular recycling facility in France is anticipated to generate jobs for nearly 350 people apart from resulting in a further 1,500 indirect jobs in recycling, infrastructure, and energy.

Mark Costa — CEO of Eastman, commenting on the molecular plastic recycling facility in France, said: “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.

“France has demonstrated their commitment toward a sustainable future and Eastman has set similar, ambitious carbon and circular economy goals. The announcement today has been made possible thanks to the support of President Macron, the French government and its agency Business France, who have worked with impressive urgency to enable and incentivize this large and complex project.”

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