Eastman to invest $1billion in world’s largest plastic chemical recycling plant in France

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Eastman chair and chief executive Mark Costa

US speciality materials company Eastman has announced plants to build the world’s largest plastic chemical recycling plant in France.

Eastman chair and chief executive Mark Costa announced the $1 billion (£733 million) investment along with French President Emmanuel Macron.

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Using Eastman’s polyester renewal technology, it will be capable of recycling 160,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic annually.

The multi-phase project will involve developing units to prepare mixed plastic for processing, a methanolysis unit to depolymerise the waste, and polymer lines to create a variety of materials for speciality, packaging and textile applications.

Eastman also plans to establish an innovation centre for molecular recycling that would enable France to sustain a leadership role in the circular economy.

It is aimed to complete the plant and innovation centre by 2025.

Brands including LVMH Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, P&G, L’Oréal and Danone have signed letters of intent for multiyear supply from this facility.

Mark Costa said: “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.

“France has demonstrated its 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. 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.”

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