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Polyester renewal plant up and running

Enabling the potentially infinite use of materials by keeping molecules in production.

25th March 2024

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Kingsport, TN, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Sustainable

Eastman reports that it has now achieved on-spec initial production at its new molecular recycling facility in Kingsport, Tennessee, and is now generating revenue from the operation.

 The company expects to ramp up production of the new facility over the coming months and to achieve approximately $75 million in earnings from it this year.

Eastman’s polyester renewal technology recycles hard-to-recycle plastic waste otherwise bound for landfill or incineration.

The company’s technology allows this waste to be broken down into its molecular building blocks and then reassembled to become virgin-quality material without compromising performance. Eastman is enabling the potentially infinite use of materials by keeping these molecules in production, in a material-to-material high-yield loop. Eastman can transform waste plastic into virgin quality food contact polyesters with lower greenhouse gas emissions than traditional methods.

“By demonstrating molecular recycling at this scale, we have solidified our position as a leader in the creation of a circular economy,” said Eastman CEO Mark Costa. “Demand for recycled material at virgin-quality levels from our new plant is strong and we are excited to announce this significant milestone in our journey.”

In addition to the recently completed facility in Kingsport, Eastman plans to invest in two additional molecular recycling plants, one in France and another US site.

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