Country for PR: United States
Contributor: PR Newswire New York
Monday, January 17 2022 - 18:00
Eastman to Invest Up to $1 Billion to Accelerate Circular Economy Through Building World's Largest Molecular Plastics Recycling Facility in France
PARIS, Jan. 17, 2022 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

This morning, French President Emmanuel Macron and Eastman (NYSE:EMN) Board 
Chair and CEO Mark Costa will jointly announce Eastman'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.

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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. Eastman is the largest 
investor at this year's "Choose France" event, which is focused on attracting 
foreign investment to France. 

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 would be 
expected to be operational by 2025, creating employment for approximately 350 
people and leading to an additional 1,500 indirect jobs in recycling, energy 
and infrastructure. 

A circular economy is key to addressing the global plastic waste crisis and the 
climate crisis, which have both been at the center of attention in France and 
throughout Europe. 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. France has demonstrated tremendous 
leadership by recognizing the vital role of molecular recycling and supporting 
investments in innovation. 

Eastman's project has also garnered support from an impressive roster of global 
brands who share its commitment to solving the world's plastic waste problem 
and view molecular recycling as a pivotal tool for achieving circularity. LVMH 
Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal and 
Danone ( 
) are leading the way by signing letters of intent for multiyear supply 
agreements from this facility. 

Eastman's proven polyester renewal technology provides true circularity for 
hard-to-recycle plastic waste that remains in a linear economy today. This 
material is typically incinerated because it either cannot be mechanically 
recycled or must be downcycled with existing technology. This hard-to-recycle 
waste is broken down into its molecular building blocks and then reassembled to 
become first-quality material without any compromise in performance. Eastman's 
polyester renewal technology enables the potentially infinite value of 
materials by keeping them in production, lifecycle after lifecycle. With the 
technology's inherent efficiencies and the renewable energy sources available 
in France, materials can be produced with greenhouse gas emissions up to 80% 
less than traditional methods. 

"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. "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. We are very excited to 
welcome a company that has a 100-year history of innovation at a global scale 
and more than 30 years of molecular recycling experience."

Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French Delegate Minister for Industry stated, 
"Eastman's world-scale project will allow France to position itself as a 
European leader in new technologies for recycling and recovering plastic waste. 
This investment is the result of the ambitious approach to industrial 
reconquest led by the Government since 2017, which has enabled France to become 
the most attractive country in Europe from 2018 onward for industrial projects. 
With this project, which is an important step for our sovereignty, we are 
giving ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions in terms of ecological 
transition while creating sustainable jobs in manufacturing, infrastructure and 
energy. We look forward to developing this relationship with Eastman."

"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," Costa said. "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. We look forward to working together for the long 
term and offer necessary innovations to recycle plastic waste and protect our 
planet for future generations. 

"The plan to build the world's largest plastics recycling facility in France is 
an important part of our overall circular economy strategy," Costa added. 
"Today's announcement is a key milestone towards our commitment, and we expect 
to achieve additional milestones in the coming months, including agreements 
related to securing the plastic waste that will be raw material supply, 
securing government incentives, and the site location decision."

About Eastman: Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company 
that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. 
With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman 
works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while 
maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company's 
innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology 
platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development 
to grow its leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, 
building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse 
company, Eastman employs approximately 14,000 people around the world and 
serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company has revenues of 
approximately $10 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. 
For more information, visit ( 

Greg Riddle, Eastman

European Media:
Jean-Christophe Adler, APC - Affaires Publiques Consultants

U.S. Media:
Brad Lifford, Eastman

SOURCE: Eastman