Food City has partnered with Eastman, a global specialty materials company, to bring additional plastic recycling options to the Appalachian Highlands region.
Beginning in early 2024, customers can drop off plastic waste in collection bins at three Food City stores in Kingsport, Tennessee, where Eastman is headquartered.
The plastic will be sorted and processed by Eastman’s new mixed plastics processing facility, a part of the new molecular recycling plant. The largest material-to-material recycling facility in the world, it is scheduled to be completed toward the end of 2023.
“Eastman is proud to partner with Food City, a fellow community leader and innovator, to bring an additional recycling option for plastics to our region,” said Brad Lich, EVP and chief commercial officer.
“This partnership demonstrates our shared vision for a more sustainable future, where plastic waste is seen as a valuable resource that can be transformed into new products. By collaborating with Food City, we are not only providing a solution for plastics recycling but also educating and engaging our community about the benefits of molecular recycling and the circular economy.”
The announcement to provide drop-off locations for customers comes in addition to an employee recycling program between Eastman and Food City, where the latter collects employee plastic waste and provides it for molecular recycling.
By offering accessible recycling options for the public, the partnership will help divert plastic waste from landfills or incineration to create valuable new materials that can be used in a variety of applications.
Eastman’s molecular recycling technology breaks down plastic waste into its molecular building blocks, which are used to create high-performance plastics, indistinguishable from virgin materials. This technology can handle plastics that are difficult to recycle, such as colored laundry detergent bottles, clamshell fruit packaging, polyester fabrics and shampoo bottles.
“Food City is excited to join forces with Eastman, a world-class company and a long-time leader in our community, to bring plastics recycling to our customers,” said Steven C. Smith, Food City president and CEO.
“We are always looking for ways to enhance our environmental stewardship and social responsibility, and this partnership will reduce our carbon footprint and support our local economy. Together, we can make a lasting impact across our region.”
Additional information about how to recycle plastic waste will be shared when the recycling program is launched.
Read more packaging news from The Shelby Report.