Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions - January 19, 2022
Eastman Invests in French Recycling Facility to Lower Carbon Footprint
Eastman announced the company’s plan to invest up to $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 are expected to be operational by 2025. This long-term partnership between France and Eastman will contribute to the EU achieving its sustainability goals, by reducing carbon emissions and enabling a circular economy.
Eastman's project has also garnered support from several global brands who share its commitment to solving the world's plastic waste problem. LVMH Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal, and Danone are leading the way by signing letters of intent for multi-year supply agreements from this facility.
"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 in a statement. "France has always been at the forefront of this journey, and together with Eastman, is giving itself the means to achieve its ambitious plastics recycling targets set for 2025."