Eastman launches smart polyester recycling technology

Eastman launches smart polyester recycling technology

March 6, 2019
Press Release: Eastman

Eastman looks to commercialize its methanolysis recycling technology

Specialty materials company Eastman is to pursue the launch of a smart circular recycling technology that uses polyester waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods and that subsequently often ends up in landfills and waterways.

Using the process of methanolysis, the technology breaks down polyester-based products into their polymer building blocks. These can then be reintroduced to the production of new polyester-based polymers, in doing so delivering a true circular solution. Eastman was one of the pioneers in developing methanolysis technology at commercial scale and has more than three decades of expertise in the process. Advanced circular recycling technology can be an especially impactful solution, as low-quality polyester waste that would typically end up on the scrapheap can instead be recycled into high-quality polyesters suitable for use in a variety of end markets, including food contact applications.

“We recognize that plastic waste is a complex problem that needs advanced solutions,” said Mark Costa, Eastman’s board chair and CEO (pictured above).  “As we have engaged potential partners, it is clear there is high interest across the entire value chain. Our history of technical expertise in chemical processes, including methanolysis, and our leading position in copolyester chemistry, enables us to provide this innovative solution to address the growing challenges of plastic waste in our environment.”

The company is currently executing an engineering feasibility study on the design and construction of a commercial-scale methanolysis facility to meet the demands of our customers and has engaged in initial discussions with potential partners across the value chain on the development of such a facility. The goal is to be operating a full-scale, advanced circular recycling facility within 24 to 36 months.

“We believe we have an obligation to enhance the quality of life in a material way,” added David Golden, senior vice president, chief legal and sustainability officer, and corporate secretary. “Today, more than ever, the world needs innovation, and we are excited about the possibilities we can achieve by working along the value chain, across industry sectors and with community partners to expand our efforts and make the greatest collective impact.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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