Clermont-Ferrand, France — Key global beverage brands including Nestlé, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, have joined a consortium led by France-based Carbios and L'Oréal SA to commercialize an enzymatic technology for the recycling of plastics.
The partnership, announced April 29, will work to scale up a Carbios technology which claims to use highly specific enzymes to recycle "much broader PET plastics and polyester fibres feedstock than other recycling technologies."
This process creates recycled PET, equivalent to virgin PET, that can be used for applications like bottles and other forms of packaging.
The technology involves breaking down all forms of PET plastics -- including clear, colored, opaque and multilayer – and polyester fibers into their original building blocks, using limited heat and no pressure or solvents.
Under the terms of the four-year agreement, the target is to bring Carbios' PET-enhanced recycling technology to the market and increase the availability of high-quality recycled plastics to fulfil the partners' sustainability commitments.
The collaboration includes technical milestones and support for the efficient supply of consumer-grade, 100 percent recycled PET plastics for global markets.
"Their [new partners'] contribution will accelerate our common ambition and help to industrialise our recycling technology, which brings a breakthrough solution in the treatment of plastic waste," said Carbios CEO Jean-Claude Lumaret.
Philippe Thuvien, vice president of packaging and development for L'Oréal said the company is counting on the technology to partially contribute its 2025 recycling goals.
The beauty brand is aiming to produce 50 percent of its plastic components from recycled materials or bio-based by 2025.
"We are convinced that by working together with our partners, we will succeed in creating a more sustainable world based on circular economy principles," Thuvien added.