Eastman to invest up to €870M in France to accelerate circular economy; here’s how

Eastman, a globally operating specialty material company, has announced plans to invest up to €870M ($1B) in France in a major push towards creating a circular economy.

The French government has been at the forefront of acknowledging climate change by enacting a climate law, initiating measures to reach a net-zero carbon goal by 2050.

Now, in a continued push towards that goal, French President Emmanuel Macron and Eastman Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa have jointly announced the investment in a material-to-material recycling facility in France. The announcement will also help Macron strengthen his position ahead of the country’s presidential election in April.

“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,” Costa says.

Eastman to accelerate France’s circular economy

A circular economy is a “model of production and consumption” that incentivises sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. France wants to be a leader in the circular economy by offering incentives to those supporting reuse of existing resources and products. A shift from linear to circular economy is seen as key to addressing the global plastic waste crisis and the climate crisis.

Eastman, a prominent player in material science, is jumping on board France’s vision to create a circular economy with a pledge to invest up to €870M. The company will set up a molecular recycling facility in France as part of this initiative. This facility will use Eastman’s polyester renewal technology to recycle up to 160,000 metric tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste annual.

The upshot of this recycling plant will be its ability to ensure that the plastic waste that is currently being incinerated can be recycled and reused. After decline in 2020, the Rhodium group reports that US greenhouse gas emissions jumped by 6.2 per cent in 2021. This sharp U-turn in emissions after record drop shows that countries need to take more steps to curb emissions globally.

France is taking a leadership position here with this investment from Eastman announced at this year’s “Choose France” event. The investment, according to Eastman, will recycle enough plastic waste annually to fill Stade de France national football stadium two and a half times. The investment should be seen as a watershed moment for recycling plastic after smaller players like Dutch startup Umincorp raised €15M for its innovative plastic recycling plant in Rotterdam.

Barbara Pompili, French Minister for Ecological Transition, says, “Accelerating the transition to a circular economy is one of the main challenges in the years to come. Eastman’s substantial investment in France demonstrates our country’s willingness to embrace innovative technologies that will help us achieve our ecological and economic ambitions, by revolutionising our country’s plastics recycling capacities.”


Source: Eastman to invest up to €870M in France to accelerate circular economy; here’s how | Silicon Canals


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