Eastman, which has been producing chemical products worldwide since 1920, announced that it would invest in a large recycling facility in France. Company officials noted that with this facility, 160,000 tons of plastic can be recycled annually.
The budget of the said investment will reach up to 1 billion USD. It is emphasized that the recycling facility planned to be established in France will be the largest molecular plastic recycling facility in the world.
Mark Costa, Chairman and CEO of Eastman, made the announcement of this major investment together with President of France Emmanuel Macron.
Eastman refers to the facility as “material-to-material molecular recycling.” The recycling technology to be used in the facility is polyester renewal technology. With this technology, up to 160,000 tons of waste plastic will be recycled annually. These plastic wastes will consist mostly of plastics that are difficult to recycle and have to be incinerated.
Plastic waste, which is difficult to recycle, will be transformed into first-class raw materials, especially for textile applications and the packaging industry. In order to achieve this transformation, the project will also include the installation of the methanollysis unit, which depolymerizes the waste and polymer lines of the units that will make the plastic scrap ready for plastic processing.
The United States-based firm, based in Tennessee, had previously set up a smaller facility in its state, but with the same function. It was stated that the reasons for establishing the world’s largest plastic recycling facility in France were related to France’s leading role in the global economy. In addition, Eastman stated that it is among the plans to establish an innovation center in France in the future.
Eastman plans to have the plant operational by 2025. According to the company’s statement, it emphasizes that private brands that support global molecular recycling support the project. Brands such as LVMH Beauty, the Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Danone have already made written statements of intent to source recycled plastics from the plant’s output.
Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition of France, made statements on the project
” The circular economy transition is one of the most important issues that needs to be accelerated in the coming years. However, it is also one of its biggest challenges. This investment by Eastman in our country will be revolutionary. It will be one of our biggest helpers on the way to our ecology and economy goals. This is a source of great excitement for us We’re talking about a 100-year-old company. Eastman has been involved in molecular recycling for more than 30 years. It’s an important experience.”
Eastman CEO Costa said:
” What makes this investment important is that it takes the strategy of developing the circular economy worldwide one step further. France and EU countries make important promises in this strategy and this project will contribute to these bold commitments. As Eastman, we are proud to be together around this goal. This is our project. It is also our economic strategy.We are excited and impatient to protect our planet and to develop and implement the necessary innovations on this path.”