PET Biorecycling Ready for Rollout
Enzymatic Processing Licences Now Available
Carbios and L'Oréal have received the Pioneer Award for their enzymatically recycled PET packaging. The prize was awarded by the Solar Impulse Foundation in recognition of the commitment of both partners to a technology that offers a viable alternative to petroleum-based plastics.
Operations at the First PET Recycling Plant Scheduled to Begin in 2025
Since 2017, the biotechnology company Carbios has been working with L'Oréal on a process to speed up the transformation to a circular economy for plastics. This resulted in a consortium which was joined in 2019 by additional companies from other sectors to drive the development of a scalable and viable industrial solution. In 2021, L'Oréal manufactured the first enzymatically recycled PET packaging for its Biotherm brand. The PET biorecycling plant – a global first – is currently due to begin operations in 2025. Companies can already use the technology for their packaging through licensing agreements.
Enzyme Breaks Down More Types of PET Waste Than Traditional Technologies
In enzymatic recycling, a highly selective enzyme is used which is optimised to break down PET, the developers explain. The process is said to be able to break down PET waste into all its basic components, including waste that is not recyclable using currently available technologies, such as coloured or multi-layered PET and textiles. The monomers PTA and MET then enable the manufacturing of recycled PET products in virgin-quality, food-safe plastic. According to the company, this technology can reduce CO2 emissions by 57 per cent. Every tonne of recycled PET reduces the amount of petrol by 1.3 tonnes.
The Solar Impulse Foundation presents its Pioneer Awards annually to recognise the work of organisations in developing efficient solutions to save water, energy and raw materials. The prizes are awarded in the categories of mobility, agrifood, building and industry.