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Comment Sustainability

Brightmark to build $680-million advanced plastics-recycling plant in Georgia

By Mary Page Bailey |

Brightmark (San Francisco, Calif.) announced that it will build the world’s largest advanced plastics recycling and renewal facility in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia. The total investment is expected to be more than $680 million in a new plant intended to fully utilize the 5.3 million square-foot site, which will employ a state-of-the-art and proprietary plastics renewal process that sustainably recycles all plastic waste (Types 1-7) that has reached the end of its useful life. These include items that cannot readily be recycled (Types 3-7), such as plastic film, flexible packing, Styrofoam, plastic beverage cups, car seats and children’s toys. Brightmark’s proven breakthrough closed loop solution converts the plastic waste directly into useful products, including renewable fuels and wax, and is also capable of creating the building blocks for new plastics, enabling a circular economy in the plastics industry.  

“Georgia’s pro-business environment and support for private-sector innovation continues to pave the way toward a more sustainable future, not only in Georgia but across the world,” said Governor Kemp. “It’s exciting to consider the potential for this project, and I’m thankful to Brightmark for investing in Georgia and the hardworking Georgians of Macon.”

“Our community places a high value on its ability to recycle, so being able to attract Brightmark’s second recycling facility should make us all proud,” says Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller. “Brightmark will bring new, technical jobs that will both benefit people living here and attract more people to move to our wonderful city.”

Once complete, Brightmark’s second commercial scale plastics renewal facility will divert 400,000 tons of plastic waste each year from landfills and incinerators and convert it into 64 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks, and 20 million gallons of wax.  Brightmark’s proprietary process is 93% efficient, where 93% of the waste in the stream is converted into new products.

Brightmark’s first plastics renewal facility in Ashley, Indiana. This first-of-its-kind facility, when fully operational in 2021, will divert 100,000 tons of plastic waste each year from landfills, waterways and incinerators, and convert it into 18 million gallons of ultra-low sulfur renewable diesel fuel, naphtha blend stocks and 6 million gallons of wax.  With Brightmark’s new facility serving the southeast region of the country, suppliers of waste plastic feedstocks from post-consumer as well post-industrial processes can increase sustainability of end-of-life plastics and derive an economic net benefit.  Brightmark is currently working with suppliers of waste plastics throughout region to secure feedstock supply agreements and has an open contracting window, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter this year. The company is also working with SK Global Chemical (Seoul, South Korea) to develop a plastics renewal plant in South Korea.

“We are excited to build our next plastics renewal facility in Macon-Bibb and revolutionize the state of recycling for the southeast quadrant of the country,” said Bob Powell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brightmark.  “Our advanced recycling facility will be the world’s largest and will utilize our proven plastics renewal technology to advance our mission of reimagining waste, while supporting economic development in the region.  We look forward to being a part of the community and establishing central Georgia as a leader in the circular economy.” 

“Companies like Brightmark continue to help strengthen Macon-Bibb County’s manufacturing sector,” says Robby Fountain, Chairman MBCIA. “The company’s decision to set up operations in central Georgia shows that our business friendly climate and talented workforce not only attract business, but also help them grow.”

“As the world continues to move toward sustainability in energy and plastics, we are thrilled that Brightmark has selected Georgia for a project that will transform how we manage plastic waste into the future,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “I would like to thank Governor Kemp as well as our partners with the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Development Authority and Georgia EMC for supporting this innovative company, while bringing the jobs of the future to Georgia.” 

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