Eastman Brings Plastic-To-Plastic Molecular Recycling Plant To Tennessee

Feb. 5, 2021
The company is investing approximately $250 million in the facility to make specialty products from plastic waste using its polyester renewal technology.

Eastman Chemical Company Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee recently announced the company's plans to build what it deems one of the world's largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities at its site in Kingsport, Tenn. Through methanolysis, the world-scale facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products, creating an optimized circular economy, according to the company. Over the next two years, the company will reportedly invest approximately $250 million in the facility, which will support Eastman's commitment to addressing the global waste crisis and to mitigating challenges created by climate change.

Utilizing the company's polyester renewal technology, the new facility will use over 100,000 metric tons of plastic waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods to produce premium, high-quality specialty plastics made with recycled content. The process of using plastic waste as the main feedstock will not only reduce the company's use of fossil feedstocks, but also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20-30% relative to fossil feedstocks, according to Eastman.

"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," said Costa. "Thanks to the support of the State of Tennessee and our local officials, we are able to build this facility in our home state, which we believe positions Tennessee to be a leader in enabling the circular economy and an example for others to follow. This will be a great investment for our local community and our customers, while also creating small business jobs to develop the recycling infrastructure necessary to support investment in a sustainable future."

This facility, which is expected to be mechanically complete by year-end 2022, will contribute to the company achieving its ambitious sustainability commitments for addressing the plastic waste crisis, which includes recycling more than 500 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2030 via molecular recycling technologies, according to Eastman. The company has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025.

For more information, visit: www.eastman.com

Sponsored Recommendations

Connect with an Expert!

Our measurement instrumentation experts are available for real-time conversations.

Heat Recovery: Turning Air Compressors into an Energy Source

More than just providing plant air, they're also a useful source of heat, energy savings, and sustainable operations.

Controls for Industrial Compressed Air Systems

Master controllers leverage the advantages of each type of compressor control and take air system operations and efficiency to new heights.

Discover Your Savings Potential with the Kaeser Toolbox

Discover your compressed air station savings potential today with our toolbox full of calculators that will help you determine how you can optimize your system!