Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, recently announced that Kingsport will soon be the home to “one of the largest plastic-to-molecular recycling facilities.” According to Times News reporting, Eastman — a global specialty materials company — will break ground at their Kingsport site in mid-2021 and open the facility before the end of 2022.  

Through methanolysis, the facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products, creating an optimized circular economy. Utilizing the company’s polyester renewal technology, the new facility will use more than 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. This process of using plastic waste as the main feedstock is a true material-to-material solution and will not only reduce the company’s use of fossil feedstocks, but also reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 30 percent relative to fossil feedstocks. 

This facility 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. 

The company has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025. 

Read more about Eastman and their global goals here (sorry this link doesn’t work in Europe). 

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