Eastman invest $1bn in French hard-to-recycle PET waste chemical recycling facility

Matt Tudball

17-Jan-2022

LONDON (ICIS)–Eastman is to invest up to $1bn in a hard-to-recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste methanolysis-based chemical recycling facility in France, the US chemicals major said on Monday.

The facility would use Eastman’s polyester renewal technology to chemically recycle up to 160,000 tonnes/year of hard-to-recycle PET waste via a methanolysis depolymerisation unit. The total output capacity of the facility was not stated.

Eastman’s polyester renewal technology uses PET waste, such as soft drink bottles, carpet and polyester-based clothing, to convert back into their basic monomers, using either glycolysis or methanolysis.

Alongside the depolymerisation unit, the multi-phase project includes units that would prepare mixed plastic waste for processing and polymer lines to create a variety of first-quality materials for specialty, packaging, and textile applications.

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

The plant and innovation centre is expected to be operational by 2025.

Eastman CEO Mark Costa said agreements related to securing the plastic waste that will be raw material supply, securing government incentives, and a decision on the location of the site will be made in the coming months.

LVMH Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Danone are signing letters of intent for multiyear supply agreements from this facility.

Front page picture: Eastman’s CEO meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris
Source: Michel Euler/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Additional reporting by Mark Victory

ICIS has launched a new mixed plastic waste pricing service covering European prices for mixed-polyolefins waste bales, reject refuse-derived fuel (RDF) bales and reject materials recovery facility (MRF) bales.

Along with this, the new service covers emerging trends in the chemical and mechanical recycling markets, as well as the burn-for-energy sector. To subscribe to the new pricing service, or for further information, please contact clientsuccess@icis.com

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