Clermont-Ferrand, France — Carbios comforts the applicative potential of its innovations by making 100 percent recyclable all household packaging in opaque polyethylene terephthalate (PET) such as the new milk bottles. Green chemistry company Carbios is specializing in enzymatic bioprocesses applied to plastic and textile polymers.
Since recently, a technological revolution is on its way in the field of milk packaging as bottles made of opaque PET are widely replacing those made of high density PE (HDPE). This enabled to reduce their weight by 25 percent and to eliminate the aluminium seal on bottle caps, leading to raw material savings and greater performances for industrials. However and as reported in the media recently, these new bottles, white outside and grey inside, are not recyclable by conventional processes. On a practical level, recyclers have to reject opaque PET bottles to landfill or incineration as their systems are unable to tolerate this new stream and to give it a second life.
Since 2012, Carbios carried out extensive research on the development of an enzymatic recycling process for PET. This work successfully demonstrated the depolymerization at 100 percent of PET based commercial products like bottles, packaging or films etc. into their original monomers: TPA (terephthalic acid) and MEG (mono ethylene glycol). Today, Carbios‘ proprietary innovation offers a technological solution to the recycling of all PET products – transparent, multi-layer, opaque, complex – including these new PET milk bottles.
The market of PET, recording 4 percent to 5 percent growth each year, represents a world production of 64 million tons (Mt) split between fibers (43 Mt[, bottles (15Mt), films and packaging (6 Mt). Three bottles out of 100 are currently made of opaque PET and this new plastic material should represent 100 percent of milk bottles within the next 5 to 10 years according to market players.
„We are proud to provide a technological solution for the treatment of opaque PET plastics and thereby support the innovation choices of industrials. The results of our work in PET biorecycling address a major environmental issue by exceeding the limits of current processes. Our innovative approach enables to meet these challenges and confirms the potential of our technology, now in its pilot stage and for which we hope to lead the industrialization in the coming years,“ stated Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios.