Enabling a circular economy
The global waste crisis and climate change are two of the greatest challenges of our time, and the world desperately needs a materials revolution that will help address both.
Brands are facing growing climate and environmental scrutiny from consumers, end users, NGOs, investors, and other stakeholders, resulting in companies setting aggressive goals to include recycled content in products.
So how do brands meet these significant goals?
Historically, the world has operated in a linear economy where raw materials and resources are extracted or harvested from the ground to produce products. Those products are then used, some only a couple of times, and when we no longer want them, they are thrown away—creating a take-make-waste process known as a linear economy.
A circular economy focuses on making the most of the world’s resources—minimizing waste and maximizing value by providing end-of-life solutions to reduce, reuse, and recycle products and materials that typically end up in landfills and our waterways. It keeps materials in use and decouples growth from scarce resource consumption, allowing economic development and improvement in quality of life within natural resource limits.
Opportunities going to waste
There’s mounting tension between the needs of a growing world population and the limits of our natural resources. Take plastic. Each year, 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally. Yet only 16% of that plastic is collected for recycling, and only 12% is actually recycled. Of the remaining waste, 25% gets incinerated, 40% goes to landfills, and 19% ends up in unmanaged dumps or littering the environment.
Our goal is to target these non-recycled materials and leverage our molecular recycling technologies to keep these materials in use by recycling them into new materials. That means we’re moving from a linear economy (take, make, consume, waste) to a circular economy (make, use, reuse, remake, recycle).
A shared circular vision
The issue of plastic waste is an enormous global problem and Eastman cannot solve it alone. We are partnering with customers, nongovernment officials, such as becoming a member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, policy makers, elected officials, the waste industry and others so we can all work toward a more sustainable future.
Through those partnerships and our technology innovations, we’re creating new ways to preserve our limited natural resources by using plastic waste in place of fossil feedstocks to make new, durable plastic and fibers materials.
Join our materials revolution!
Our experts are pioneering the shift to circular materials. Right. Now. We’re revolutionizing our materials to give them an infinite life and richer purpose using our two Advanced Circular Recycling technologies—carbon renewal and polyester renewal. This takes passionate problem-solving, world-class technologies, and a willingness to advocate for smart legislation.
The time to act—and advocate—is now. Our goal is to transform tomorrow by revolutionizing the materials that shape it today.