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The recent news of Eastman breaking ground in Kingsport on what will be one of the world’s largest advanced recycling facilities isn’t just important news for Tennessee. It’s a stake planted firmly in the ground helping illustrate that a circular economy for plastics not only makes sense for businesses, but for the environment, too.

I see Eastman is expanding its already considerable production of recycled plastics. That’s a really good idea, an opportunity seized, a sign the main reason for the existence of modern Kingsport is alive and healthy and preparing for the future.

That Eastman Chemical Co. will invest $250 million to build one of the world’s largest plastic recycling facilities in Kingsport is exciting beyond its economic impact. Eastman's cutting-edge chemical recycling process holds the promise of keeping untold tons of harmful plastic waste out of the environment.

Eastman Chemical Co. recently announced a $250 million investment to build one of the world’s largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities in Kingsport. This state-of-the-art facility will convert polyester waste that often ends up in landfills and waterways into durable products.

In our state and across the nation, the specific problem of plastic waste has emerged as a pivotal environmental issue. It is an issue that members of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry are committed to solving through innovation, collaboration and advancements in technology.