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Eastman to build one of the largest plastic-to-plastic recycling facilities in the world in Tennessee

Eastman, already a global leader in plastics, chemicals and fibers, will invest approximately $250 million in the facility over the next two years

KINGSPORT, Tenn. — Eastman Chemical will build one of the world’s largest plastic-to-plastic recycling facilities at its site in Kingsport.

Company leaders, Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe made the announcement Friday morning at the company's headquarters in Kingsport.

Eastman, already a global leader in plastics, chemicals and fibers, will invest approximately $250 million in the facility over the next two years.

“With the growing demand for products made with recycled content and the urgent need to address the global plastic waste crisis, now is the time for Eastman to take this step," said Mark Costa, Eastman board chair and CEO. "Thanks to the support of the State of Tennessee and our local officials, we are able to build this facility in our home state, which we believe positions Tennessee to be a leader in enabling the circular economy and an example for others to follow. This will be a great investment for our local community and our customers, while also creating small business jobs to develop the recycling infrastructure necessary to support investment in a sustainable future.” 

Using molecular recycling technologies like methanolysis, Eastman’s new world-scale facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products, creating an optimized circular economy.

Eastman hopes to have the facility up and running by the end of 2022. The company has committed to recycling more than 250 million pounds of plastic waste annually by 2025 and hopes to recycle more than 500 million pounds annually by 2030. 

“Eastman is a global leader in the materials sector, and we are grateful that they continue to be one of the largest employers in our state. I’d like to thank the company for their continuous investment in Kingsport and for focusing on innovative technology that enhances the quality of life for people not just in Tennessee, but around the world,” said Gov. Lee.