Mazzucchelli to Manufacture Acetate Sheet Made from Eastman’s Innovative Sustainable Acetate Flake


KINGSPORT, Tenn.—In a move that promises to advance sustainability and a circular economy further in the eyewear space, global specialty plastics provider, Eastman (NYSE:EMN) is announcing today an industry-first collaboration with Mazzucchelli  1849, the world leader in the manufacturing and distribution of acetate sheet for premium eyewear. Mazzucchelli will produce and sell acetate sheets made from Eastman Acetate Renew, a cellulose diacetate composed of 60 percent biobased and 40 percent certified recycled content. Made through Eastman’s innovative carbon renewal technology, Acetate Renew offers virgin material performance, incorporates significant amounts of certified recycled content from eyewear production scrap, and results in a significant reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to the traditional manufacturing process, the company said.

“Eastman’s collaboration with Mazzucchelli demonstrates our ability to leverage groundbreaking recycling technologies that bring innovative and sustainable solutions to the industries in which we participate,” said Scott Ballard, vice president and general manager for Eastman Specialty Plastics. “We’re honored that our longtime partner Mazzucchelli will be the first to produce acetate sheet made from entirely sustainable acetate flake and to divert waste from landfills in the process.”

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Scott Ballard (l) and Giovanni Orsi Mazzucchelli.
Mazzucchelli is providing acetate scrap to Eastman for use in carbon renewal. Eastman will soon begin collecting and recycling scrap at scale from eyewear manufacturers for conversion into new material, creating a true closed loop for the eyewear industry. Eastman is now producing Acetate Renew, and Mazzucchelli expects to have sheet made from this material commercially available before the end of the first half of this year. The recycled content in Acetate Renew will be certified using the mass balance approach through International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) audits across the value chain, the companies said.

Mazzucchelli has begun the ISCC process with ICIM s.p.a. Italy in preparation for commercialization. “Eastman Acetate Renew allows us to offer sustainable options to our customers,” said Giovanni Orsi Mazzucchelli, president and shareholder of Mazzucchelli, a family-owned company for six generations. “Using Acetate Renew requires no performance sacrifice, meaning we can use it in our full range of premium designs. We’re pleased to have achieved this goal, which is the result of a constructive relationship, and to be the first to manufacture acetate sheet with this material and also to provide scrap for carbon renewal technology that would otherwise end up in landfills.”

Carbon renewal technology is a chemical recycling process combining mixed waste plastics with heat, pressure and steam to generate syngas—carbon and hydrogen atoms—for use as building blocks to produce a variety of circular products containing high levels of recycled content without compromising quality. Eastman produces biobased and certified recycled content using mass balance allocation.

Acetate scrap from Mazzucchelli and certified frame manufacturers will be returned to Eastman to be converted into new acetate flake using chemical recycling technology. The commercial collaboration between Eastman and Mazzucchelli is the first of many, according to Ballard, who said Eastman has several upcoming announcements that will positively impact the eyewear industry

In 2019, Eastman became the first company to begin commercial-scale chemical recycling for a broad set of waste plastics that would otherwise be landfilled or, worse, end up in the environment. Eastman Advanced Circular Recycling technologies process waste plastics traditional mechanical recycling methods cannot—including polyesters, polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene—derived from a variety of sources, including single-use packaging, textiles, and carpet. These technologies provide a true circular solution of infinite recycling for materials, allowing them to be reused repeatedly. More details are posted here at Eastman Eco.

Eastman is a $9.3 billion global specialty materials company, headquartered in Kingsport, Tenn., that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. The company employs approximately 14,500 people around the world and serves customers in more than 100 countries.

Mazzucchelli 1849 is a worldwide leader in the manufacture and distribution of cellulose acetate products for the eyewear industry and it processes a wide range of polymeric materials. Mazzucchelli products are aimed at markets ranging from spectacles, sunglasses and fashion accessories to others in such arenas as safety, sports and automotive industries.