Eastman Negotiates Normandy Site for Molecular Recycling Facility

At a glance
  • Eastman plans to invest up to $1 billion in the facility.
  • The plant will recycle 160,000 tonnes of polyester waste annually.
  • The facility is expected to be operational by 2025.
  • The project will create 350 direct jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs.

Investment and Location

Eastman has entered exclusive negotiations to establish a molecular recycling facility in Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine, Normandy, France. The company plans to invest up to $1 billion in this project, which aims to build the world's largest material-to-material molecular recycling plant. The facility will recycle approximately 160,000 tonnes of hard-to-recycle polyester waste annually.

Selection Process and Timeline

Since the announcement in January by Eastman Board Chair and CEO Mark Costa and French President Emmanuel Macron, Eastman evaluated three potential locations before selecting Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine. The site was chosen for its proximity to waste polyester supply, available space, and necessary infrastructure. The facility is expected to be operational by 2025.

Technology and Environmental Impact

Eastman's polyester renewal technology (PRT) complements mechanical recycling and provides circularity for hard-to-recycle plastic waste. The technology boasts a polyester yield of 93% and, combined with renewable energy sources in Normandy, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80% compared to traditional methods. The facility will also help reduce France's dependency on imported fossil-fuel-based products.

Economic and Employment Benefits

The investment will significantly drive the local economy, creating approximately 350 direct jobs and 1,500 indirect jobs in recycling, energy, and infrastructure. The availability of a skilled workforce in Port-Jérôme-sur-Seine was a key factor in the site selection.

Support and Future Plans

The project has garnered support from global brands like LVMH Beauty, The Estée Lauder Companies, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal, and Danone, who have signed letters of intent for multiyear supply agreements. Eastman aims to finalize details on raw material supply, energy supply, and necessary incentives in the coming months.