Coast KZN

29 Apr 2019

Carbios plastic bottle recycling picks up backers

AFP (South Coast Sun)

French green chemistry firm Carbios said Monday it had picked up the backing of three major drinks firms to build a facility to test on an industrial scale its technology to break down and recycle PET plastic bottles with enzymes.


Nestle Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage and Food Europe join a consortium that already includes L’Oreal in a four-year partnership that aims to bring the technology to market. Financial details of the partnership were not released.

Carbios has developed and patented a process that uses enzymes to break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into their original components and can then reuse them to create new food packaging with 100 percent recycled material. Currently PET bottles are recycled into non-food grade products.

Food and drinks firms are looking with renewed interest at how they can reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging, which chokes up precious space in landfills and polluting oceans despite being recyclable to various degrees. Carbios said its process requires limited heat and no pressure or solvents, which improves its environmental impact.

“Addressing the global issue of plastic waste requires large scale collaboration, innovative thinking and investment in new and ground-breaking technologies,” said Roberto Vanin, chief of research and development at Suntory Beverage and Food Europe, which markets the Orangina and Schweppes drinks.

Carbios is expected to soon launch construction of the industrial-size facility in the Lyon area in eastern France.