Carbon renewal technology

At Eastman, we’re dedicated to creating a circular economy that creates value from material waste. To do this, we utilize two Advanced Circular Recycling technologies—carbon renewal and polyester renewal.

Carbon renewal technology, a type of molecular or advanced recycling, gives new life to the most complex waste plastic, recycling all types of plastic with the exception of PVC—many of which cannot be recycled with traditional mechanical recycling methods.

Carbon renewal technology takes a wide array of mixed plastic waste and breaks it back down into its molecular building blocks, allowing the molecules to be reassembled to build new products. This allows materials to be recycled an infinite number of times—unlike mechanical recycling—with no compromise or loss of quality.

Carbon renewal technology

This technology provides a circular solution for materials that currently cannot be recycled today, keeping them in use and out of landfills and incinerators. Better yet, the process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 20%-50% when compared to processes using fossil fuels, and the end products are identical to those produced with virgin content.
Read the lifecycle assessment summary on our carbon renewal technology and take a deeper dive by reading our detailed technical report.

Real, scalable solutions

Industrial and pre-consumer scrap like scrap material from the production of eyeglasses feeds into the process, closing the loop on the mixed-plastic life cycle.

The waste plastic problem is complex, and we know we can’t change the world alone. That’s why we are actively partnering at local, regional, and global levels with those who have a shared vision to solve the plastic waste crisis while addressing the climate crisis. Through partnerships with companies and organizations such as Circular Polymers and the Carpet America Recovery Effort, we are helping establish a process to reclaim carpet from homes and businesses. Every year, more than 3 billion pounds of carpet is put into landfills. To provide an end-of-life solution for carpet, we collaborated with California-based Circular Polymers. Circular Polymers reclaims, processes, and compacts old carpet, making the carpet easy to ship, and sends it to Eastman. We then recycle the carpet with our carbon renewal technology, keeping it out of landfills and giving it an infinite life.


How is carbon renewal technology different from polyester renewal technology?

The two main differences are the type of feedstock, or material input used, and the outputs produced. Carbon renewal technology can process a broad mix of plastic waste—all types except PVC—to use as inputs, whereas polyester renewal technology uses a family of polyester material as the process input.


Our team is committed to actively collaborating with companies, experts, policy makers, and members of the value chain, among others, to create policies and standards and build systems that preserve our natural resources and accelerate a circular economy.