Eastman to invest $1bn in new molecular recycling facility in France

WCN Editorial Team 18 Jan 2022 EUROPE ENERGY & UTILITIES

Global specialty materials company Eastman has announced plans to build a molecular recycling facility in France with an investment of up to $1bn.

The material-to-material facility will recycle up to 160,000 metric tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste every year using the company’s polyester renewal technology.

The plastic waste is currently being incinerated.

Eastman noted that the plastic waste recycled would be enough to fill Stade de France national football stadium 2.5 times.

The project, which would be carried out in multiple phases, includes units that will prepare mixed plastic waste for processing.

It will also include a methanolysis unit for depolymerising the waste, and polymer lines for creating different materials for specialty, textile and packaging applications.

Eastman Board chair and CEO Mark Costa said: “The investment in France is a significant step forward in Eastman's strategy to accelerate a circular economy globally.

“France has demonstrated their commitment toward a sustainable future and Eastman has set similar, ambitious carbon and circular economy goals.”

Additionally, the company plans to establish an innovation centre which will advance alternative methods for recycling and applications to reduce plastic waste incineration and leave fossil feedstock in the ground.

The centre for molecular recycling will enable France to sustain a leadership role in the circular economy.

Both the plant and innovation centre are expected to become operational by 2025 and create employment opportunities for nearly 350 people leading to an additional 1,500 indirect jobs.

LVMH Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal and Danone signed letters of intent for multiyear supply agreements from Eastman's recycling facility.

In the coming months, the company plans to sign agreements related to securing the plastic waste, obtain government incentives, and take decision related to the site location.


Eastman to invest up to $1 billion to accelerate circular economy through molecular plastics recycling facility in France. Credit: Eastman / PRNewswire.

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