Global specialty plastics provider Eastman addresses the increasing demand for recycled materials at the 2020 Plastics Recycling Conference and Trade Show held in Nashville, Feb. 17-19. The 15th annual event brings together the world’s leading sustainability voices to discuss complex issues facing the plastics recycling industry. Holli Alexander, Eastman’s strategic initiative manager of global sustainability, will participate in a roundtable discussion at the closing session entitled “How to Tackle The Supply-Demand Gap.”
Eastman announced two major recycling initiatives last year. Carbon renewal technology (CRT) is a chemical recycling process that diverts mixed waste plastic from landfills and converts it into simple molecular components that are then reintroduced in the production of a variety of Eastman products. CRT is now operating at scale. In fact, Eastman struck a deal in November 2019 to source feedstock from Circular Polymers, a post-consumer waste reclaimer. The collaboration will divert millions of pounds of discarded carpet from landfills in its first year, according to Mark Costa, Eastman board chair and CEO.
Eastman’s second recycling innovation, polyester renewal technology (PRT), formerly known as advanced circular recycling, is a chemical recycling process specifically for polyester waste, including colored PET and copolyesters, which produces virgin-like materials. The first phase of PRT uses glycolysis to disassemble waste PET into its fundamental building blocks, which are then used to produce new polyesters with high levels of recycled content achieved through certified mass balance allocation. A later phase of PRT using methanol to break down a wide variety of waste polyesters will be fully operational by 2022.