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Packaging & design

Eastman accelerates its entry into the circular economy

Eastman has exhibited its latest eco-friendly innovations at Luxe Pack New York, the North American event for premium and luxury packaging, which was held May 15-16 at the Javits Center, in Manhattan. The manufacturer of plastic resins highlighted two innovations designed to address the world’s plastic waste problem and two new products: Eastman Trēva engineering bioplastic and Cristal EV600 copolyester.

Sustainable plastics

Initially unveiled at the Monaco show, Trēva is a cellulose-based plastic for opaque and colour-tinted packaging with better performance and less environmental impact. It can serve as a direct replacement for ABS and enables opportunities for down-gauging in those applications. Its bio-content of over 40 percent enables brands to progress toward sustainability commitments while moving away from materials listed on Proposition 65 (the Californian legislation on carcinogenic and reprotoxic substances).

The Eastman Cristal EV600 copolyester is a glasslike high-flow polymer that is Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

Circular economy

In March and April, Eastman announced two recycling innovations, Advanced Circular Recycling and Carbon Renewal Technology that enable recycling of mixed polyester and mixed plastic waste.

Using methanolysis, Advanced Circular Recycling breaks down polyester-based products into their polymer building blocks. These can then be reintroduced to the production of polyester-based polymers, delivering a true circular solution. Eastman projects full-scale operations of the Advanced Circular Recycling solution to be available within 24-36 months.

As per the Carbon Renewal Technology, it allows to convert mixed plastic wastes, including plastics that are difficult to recycle such as cosmetics packaging, back to their molecular components. These are reintroduced to the production of a variety of materials, like plastics and cellulosic products.

Trēva will be one of the first Eastman products to benefit from carbon renewal technology, which will further enhance Trēva’s beginning-of-life profile,” said Kendra Harrold, marketing director for packaging. “In addition to having over 40 percent of its content from biobased materials, Trēva enabled by carbon renewal technology will have a significant part of its remaining content derived from allocated certified recycled plastic.”

Eastman plans to have this product commercially available before the end of 2019.

These innovations are only the beginning,” continued Harrold. “Eastman is committed to working with our value chain partners to create real solutions toward a true circular economy.

V.G.

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