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Eastman’s Molecular Recycling Technologies Advance P&G’s Sustainable Packaging Goals

Procter & Gamble (P&G) will use Eastman Renew materials in select products and packaging starting later this year.

Clare Goldsberry

August 3, 2021

3 Min Read
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Image: Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock

Eastman announced that it has entered into an agreement with Procter & Gamble (P&G) to further accelerate the transformation of plastic packaging and collaborate on recycling solutions to enable a circular economy. P&G will use Eastman Renew materials in select products and packaging, supporting both companies’ goals to reduce the use of virgin plastic made from fossil resources.

Additionally, the companies will collaborate on advocacy initiatives aimed at reducing reliance on virgin plastic and enabling a circular economy for many products consumers depend on daily.

“Eliminating waste plastic from our environment is a complex global challenge that requires a comprehensive, collaborative approach across the entire plastics lifecycle,” stated Lee Ellen Drechsler, Procter & Gamble Senior Vice President of R&D. “P&G is taking a thoughtful approach to addressing the collection, processing, revitalization, and reuse of materials. That’s why we selected Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies, which enable former waste to be transformed into useful products.”

Eastman Renew materials are made via Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies using waste plastic that otherwise would end up in landfill. These advanced recycling technologies are a complement to traditional recycling, expanding the types and amounts of plastics that can be recycled. This gives materials an extended useful life and diverts plastic waste from landfills and the environment.

P&G patented its own advanced recycling process several years ago, which it has licensed to PureCycle. This additional partnership with Eastman will expand P&G’s efforts toward sustainability, said the company. “[PureCycle’s] efforts are focused on bringing that technology to market,” explained a P&G spokesperson in response to an inquiry from PlasticsToday. “We are pursuing multiple paths toward addressing plastic waste, including increasing investment in collection and recycling infrastructure, exploring alternative materials, continuously using more recycled content in our packages, and innovations like PureCycle and Eastman’s Renew materials. We know it will take a combination of efforts to make a difference, so we are casting our net across a range of solutions to achieve the greatest impact.”

In addition to packaging innovation, P&G and Eastman will collaborate on initiatives addressing the infrastructure needed to increase plastic recycling rates. These efforts will complement the current recycling streams in the United States and enable additional recycling options for consumers eager to help solve the plastic waste problem. The two companies will work to expand the collection of hard-to-recycle plastics, further diverting waste from landfills. These expanded recycling streams will be used to create new materials via Eastman’s molecular recycling technologies.

“Eastman is excited to have Procter & Gamble as a partner to put molecular recycling into practice,” said Scott Ballard, Eastman’s Division President of Plastics. “Together, we can create value from waste and show the world what’s possible through innovation. The value created will help drive the critical changes in our recycling infrastructure that are necessary to solve the plastic waste crisis.”

Eastman Renew materials are available globally at scale now, enabling companies like P&G to deliver circular product and packaging solutions to consumers. P&G is working to integrate Eastman Renew materials into select product packaging later this year.

Eastman is constructing one of the world’s largest plastic-to-plastic recycling facilities at its Kingsport, TN, location, with completion expected in 2022. The molecular recycling facility will process more than 200 million pounds annually of landfill-bound waste plastic in the making of Eastman Renew materials.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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