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$950 Million Investment Commits to Upson

Brightmark Plans 2.5 million-Square-Foot Facility and Almost 200 Full-Time Jobs

Brightmark LLC, a circular solutions company with a mission to Reimagine Waste®, announced plans Tuesday to develop a 2.5 million-square-foot circularity center in Upson County with the capacity to repurpose over 400,000 tons of plastic per year.

It will be the company’s second Circularity Center® in the U.S. and largest facility to date, according to company officials. Construction will start in 2025 and is set to be completed in 2027.

Brightmark selected Thomaston because of its desire to grow alongside a strong community partner and responsible corporate actor, according to the announcement. Brightmark’s dedication to economic advancement in the Peach State is highlighted by a $950 million investment, which will bring nearly 200 advanced manufacturing jobs, improvements to regional infrastructure, and support economic growth and development in rural West Central Georgia.

“We are pleased to welcome Brightmark to the Thomaston-Upson County business community,” said Thomaston Mayor J.D. Stallings. “As Thomaston approaches the 200th anniversary of our founding, we look to the future and welcome business partners like Brightmark who are focused on building upon the economic stability and urban growth this town has always been known for.”

Brightmark’s proprietary Plastics Renewal® technology takes discarded plastic content and converts it into the materials to create new circular plastic products, diverting waste otherwise bound for landfills, incinerators, and waterways.

“Over the years, Brightmark has invested heavily in talent and innovation required to build and refine a circular solution capable of tackling one of the most complex issues of our time: recycling,” said Brightmark founder and CEO and Georgia native, Bob Powell.

“This investment in Georgia represents a commitment to supporting economic longevity and playing an integral role in building a sustainable future together in my home state,” Powell continued. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer a circular solution that will make a positive environmental and economic impact on a region so near and dear to my heart.”

Brightmark will be a community partner to Thomaston and Upson County and is prepared to support the goals of the community, its economy, and most importantly the health and safety of its people.

“I am excited to welcome Brightmark to Upson County. Bringing diverse industries to Upson has been a priority for some time and I’m proud of our efforts to bring this project home,” said Upson County Commission Chairman Norman Allen. “Over the last year and a half, Brightmark has demonstrated a strong desire to become a collaborative partner and responsible steward of the local environment.

“I visited their plant in Ashley, Ind., and was impressed by what I saw,” Allen concluded. “I want to thank everyone who had a hand in making this happen. This is a huge win!”

Brightmark is steadfast in its commitment to protect the Thomaston and Upson County environment, particularly the water, air, and land that surrounds the site. Extensive planning and investment will be undertaken to ensure there are strong measures to mitigate environmental risk.

Brightmark will invest over $1 million to enable a zero liquid discharge technology to ensure that all process wastewater is managed and processed on site, thereby preventing any contact with any municipal water supply, including drinking water, groundwater, the Flint River, and other local waterways.

The company’s circularity center will be considered a synthetic minor emitter – implementing the best available technologies to reduce emissions.

Brightmark intends to invest $20 million in additive infrastructure projects pursuant to agreements with the city and state as part of the total investment, including upgrades to utilities, roadway improvements, rail access extensions, and other necessary resources to operationalize the business, improve local infrastructure, and positively impact the community, the local economy, and tax base.

“This is a tremendous win for Thomaston-Upson County, and we are thrilled to welcome Brightmark to our community,” said Chase Fallin, chairman of T-U Industrial Development Authority. “Creating jobs, growing our community, and building for our future is the cornerstone of economic development. This project encompasses all of those tenets. We welcome Brightmark to our community and look forward to seeing the project prosper.”

The dedication to the health and safety of employees and the communities where it operates is core to the company’s values and mission, according to company officials. Not only does it adhere to all local, state, and federal health and safety laws, but in many instances, exceeds these standards.

Brightmark will implement detailed procedures to ensure employee safety, including strong training on critical areas such as operating procedures, emergency response, remediation, and lifesaving protocols. The health and safety team will establish a detailed emergency action plan for Thomaston that goes beyond regulatory requirements and industry best practices.

The company reportedly is purchasing 100 acres in the industrial park from the IDA for $2.5 million as part of the investment. The IDA will serve as a “conduit” for the almost $1 billion bond, which does not involve the credit of the City of Thomaston or Upson County, according to local officials.

Brightmark representatives emphasized that the bond “will not [involve] public dollars.”