PepsiCo, L’Oreal, and Nestle have partnered with a France-based startup company that has formulated an enzyme that could produce a significant advancement in the manner in which plastics are recycled.
The French startup, Carbios, produces an enzyme that biologically depolymerizes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste, returning the material to its virgin form, which enables the material to be recycled into new bottles in an extremely efficient manner.
Carbios says its enzyme converts 90% of the polymer plastic back into its monomer building blocks in a 10-hour process. The resulting virgin material can be used to produce any plastic product without limitations, the company says.
Ron Khan, VP of beverage packaging at PepsiCo, says the Carbios system “can take all plastic, colored PET, textiles like polyester, or even carpet, which would normally be lost along the way. They can take it and recover it.”
Carbios is backed by lead investor Truffle Capital and BOLD (Business Opportunities for L'Oreal Development).