KINGSPORT, Tennessee

Less than a year after Eastman launched innovative chemical recycling technologies to accelerate the circular economy, Eastman has received a sustainability innovation award for carbon renewal technology, a game-changer for recycling that can make a substantial impact on the global waste crisis.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) announced its Re│focus Sustainability Awards on Friday, Feb. 14, and one of its three awards is for innovations that give materials a better end-of-life. In that awards category, PLASTICS chose the company whose chemical recycling technologies give materials infinite life: Eastman.

The other Re│focus winners are Vartega for its reclaimed and recycled carbon fiber, and Accredo Packaging for an all-polyethylene, full-recyclable stand-up pouch for a variety of products. Eastman will receive the Re│focus Sustainability Innovation Award at the Re│focus 2020 conference in May.

“The 2020 Re|focus Sustainability Innovation Awards drew an exceptionally competitive field of entries this year,” said Ashley Hood-Morley, PLASTICS Director of Sustainability. “Each winning innovation has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to eliminating waste in plastics manufacturing and eliminating waste, period. There are countless ways in which this industry is working to solve our planet’s environmental challenges. We congratulate Eastman, Accredo and Vartega for their commitment to sustainability, and look forward to seeing the impact their innovations will undoubtedly have on our industry and our environment.”

Read the news release from PLASTICS.

Using carbon renewal technology, Eastman will recycle millions of pounds of carpet this year that would otherwise have gone to landfills and will recycle other materials from a variety of sources – such as single-use packaging – that traditional mechanical methods cannot process. In 2020, Eastman expects to recycle up to 50 million pounds of waste materials in carbon renewal technology, which began commercial operation in October 2019.

About Eastman

Founded in 1920, Eastman is a global specialty materials company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With the purpose of enhancing the quality of life in a material way, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. The company’s innovation-driven growth model takes advantage of world-class technology platforms, deep customer engagement, and differentiated application development to grow its leading positions in attractive end markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. As a globally inclusive and diverse company, Eastman employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries. The company had 2019 revenues of approximately $9.3 billion and is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA.

About Eastman in the circular economy

In 2019, Eastman began commercial-scale chemical recycling for a broad set of waste plastics that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated, or worse, end up in the environment. Eastman Advanced Circular Recycling technologies process waste plastics traditional mechanical recycling methods cannot—including polyesters, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene—derived from a variety of sources, including single-use plastics, textiles, and carpet. These technologies provide a true circular solution of endless recycling for materials, allowing them to be reused repeatedly. For more information, visit

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Brad Lifford