The two major industrial plastic waste recycling projects, announced in France, by the American group Eastman and the Quebec-based Loop associated with Suez, should help the country catch up with some of its delay in plastic recycling.

The two planned factories represent more than one billion euros of investment (850 million for Eastman and 250 million euros for Loop), i.e. a quarter of the 4 billion euros announced by 21 foreign companies as part of the program of attractiveness Choose France announced on Sunday evening.

Attacking white PET

Eastman, who did not reveal the location of his establishment, stressed that he would build "the largest molecular plastics recycling plant in the world" in order to "develop the circular economy".

Loop plans to settle in Port-Jérôme-Sur-Seine (Seine-Maritime) in Normandy on a 130,000 square meter plot where construction should start in 2023, for commissioning "approximately 18 months later", i.e. in 2025, said its boss Daniel Solomita.

“We are particularly targeting opaque white PET from milk bottles and other plastic waste such as food trays which are not well recycled today,” said Daniel Solomita.

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is one of the most widely used plastics in the world, especially for the manufacture of bottles and polyester fibers.

180 term jobs

The “deposits” will be supplied to it by Suez, its partner, which specializes in sorting and processing waste.

The plant will have a production capacity of some 70,000 tons of PET resin per year.

By choosing Normandy, the group, which plans to create 180 jobs over time, is counting on access to the Seine to drain waste by river transport from the entire Paris basin.

Loop uses "seven different technologies" patented "low temperature depolymerization" allowing it to find the cell "basic monomer" and thus remanufacture in a closed loop plastic of quality comparable to new plastic from petrochemicals, said Daniel solomita.

To infinity and yogurt pots

The group indicates that it has received letters of intent from LVMH, Estée Lauder, Clarins, Procter & Gamble, L'Oréal or Danone wishing to source recycled plastic from their future site.

Until now, mechanical recycling, a very fine sorting of plastic but which does not go to the molecule itself and produces lower quality plastic, constitutes the vast majority of recycling in France.

With these projects, the public authorities hope to reduce French exports of plastic waste, which amounted to 750,000 tonnes in 2020 according to Ademe.

In any case, improve the recycling rate of plastic packaging, less than 30% in France, unlike neighboring countries.

These announcements do not (yet) make it possible to tackle yogurt pots, nor that of meat and fish trays, which are made of flat or expanded polystyrene, a molecule which requires other industrial processes.

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  • Plastic

  • United States

  • Waste

  • Recycling

  • Planet

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