How you can help UT break a world record

Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) — To honor 30 years of retraining at the University of Tennessee, Eastman and the university hope to break a world record.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, when the Vols take on Missouri at Neyland Stadium, they want everyone to recycle whatever they can.

“We challenge everyone at the stadium and around campus to put their recyclables in the recycling bin,” said Cathy Combs, director of sustainability at Eastman.

“We have volunteers who will be on site, going through the tailgating areas with bright orange bags, distributing them to the tailgates. What we want Vol fans to do is recycle absolutely everything we can. Think plastic, aluminum, cardboard… we want all of that,” she said.

Eastman has been a partner in the University of Tennessee’s Good Sports Always Give Back program, helping to bring recycling to the UT campus.

Every plastic, aluminum, and paper product dropped into the recycling bin will help Eastman and the University of Tennessee set the world record for the largest college recycling event in the world. This record also includes the recycling of boxes and wooden pallets and the recovery of food (via food banks or composting) involved in setting up, tearing down and concessions in stadiums from match day.

Plastic that fans recycle at the game will go to Kingsport, Tennessee, at Eastman’s headquarters to be recycled by the company’s molecular recycling technologies.

Only 12% of the 260 million tonnes of plastic waste collected each year, i.e. approximately 31.2 million tonnes, is mechanically recycled. The rest ends up in landfills, incinerators or in the environment. Molecular recycling is a next-generation recycling innovation that can recycle almost any type of plastic, making it an essential part of solving the global plastic waste challenge.

East Tennessee is at the forefront of molecular recycling. Eastman has already recycled millions of pounds of plastic through its molecular recycling technologies.

Eastman is investing $250 million to build the world’s largest plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facility in Kingsport, Tennessee. The facility will use over 110,000 tons of plastic waste as raw material with a very high efficiency rate. That’s enough plastic to fill Neyland Stadium with the equivalent of 11 billion single-use water bottles, 790 million polyester T-shirts or 2.7 billion shampoo bottles.

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