Eastman Chemical Company, in collaboration with the United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC (USAMP), automotive recycler PADNOS, and automotive interior supplier Yanfeng, has successfully tested a closed-loop circular solution for “automotive shredder residue” (ASR) waste, the first pilot program of its kind. Chris Layton, director of Sustainability, Specialty Plastics at Eastman Chemical Company, provides Auto Recycling World with further details.
When one automobile reaches the end of its useful life, that means more than 4,000 pounds of materials, on average, are out of a job. Estimates vary, but about 80% of those materials are metals, tires and glass that can be recycled through traditional mechanical recycling streams and put to work in new ways. That’s good news. But what about the other 20%?
It’s called “automotive shredder residue,” or ASR, and it consists of mixed plastic, fiber and other non-recycled materials that mechanical recycling technologies simply can’t process. In the United States alone, about 5 million tons of ASR are landfilled every year. With 27 million cars reaching end-of-life each year around the world, Deloitte has estimated that the global statistic exceeds more than 10 billion pounds of ASR being landfilled or incinerated. That’s enough waste to fill 5.5 million full-size pickup trucks. If we sit idly by as it adds up, there will be enough ASR waste by 2026 to cause a bumper-to-bumper traffic jam around Earth’s equator — every year.
Eastman, the United States Automotive Materials Partnership LLC (USAMP), automotive recycler PADNOS and global automotive interior supplier Yanfeng teamed up to test drive a truly circular solution for ASR waste — the first closed-loop auto circularity pilot program with molecular recycling. The team just wrapped up its year-long concept feasibility study, and I am so excited to share the outcome with you.
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