Rumpke Waste & Recycling and Eastman, are partnering to help address the global plastic waste crisis. Later this year, Rumpke will begin collecting and sorting hard-to-recycle and colored PET packaging waste, materials that are largely unaddressed in today’s recycling ecosystem. This will provide 100 percent of this waste stream as feedstock to Eastman’s molecular recycling process. Eastman will then turn this waste stream into virgin quality polyesters with its molecular recycling technology, to be used across a range of packaging applications and to expand the circular economy for polyesters.

“The world is currently grappling with a significant problem, with a large portion of plastic waste either not being collected for recycling, or deemed non-recyclable by traditional methods,” said Jeff Snyder, director of recycling at Rumpke. Colored and opaque PET is used across a range of consumer applications, including personal care and cosmetic packaging, detergent and soap packaging and various dairy and food packaging. Historically many of these applications have been unable to transition to fully circular packaging. Through Rumpke’s investment in innovation processing and Eastman’s molecular recycling technology, this partnership will enable circularity for many applications. By diverting this waste from incineration or landfill, both companies are making significant strides toward their shared vision of a world without waste.

This parntership comes as Eastman is nearing the start-up of the world’s largest material-to-material molecular recycling facility at its Kingsport, Tennessee site. Set to begin shipping its first products in the coming weeks, the Kingsport plant will recycle 110,000 metric tons of hard-to-recycle plastic waste annually.

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