Carbios celebrates the groundbreaking of its PET biorecycling plant

The French biotechnology company has officially launched the construction of its PET biorecycling plant.

Located in Longlaville, in the East of France, the new plant will offer an industrial-scale solution for the enzymatic depolymerization of PET waste, a world-first. With a processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes of waste per year when operating at full capacity, the plant will play a key role in the fight against plastic pollution. Close to the borders with Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, the plant’s location is strategic for access to nearby waste supplies.

PET, the second most widely used plastic in the world, is mainly manufactured from oil. Thanks to Carbios’ enzymatic biorecycling technology, PET will no longer be made from oil, but from its own waste,” said Carbios in a statement.

The first significant quantities of bio-recycled PET are expected to be delivered to customers in 2026.

The official launch of the work was welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron, in a LinkedIn post published on 24 April 2024: “A technological revolution is taking shape tomorrow with the groundbreaking ceremony of Carbios’ plant in Longlaville: the world’s first biorecycling plant.

Founded in 2011, Carbios has developed enzyme-based processes to break down plastics. Its biorecycling demonstration plant has been operational since 2021 and the construction of the first industrial-scale biorecycling plant marks the first step in the rise of the PET biorecycling technology to commercial scale.

We are delighted to be a long-standing partner of Carbios: an adventure that began nearly seven years ago with the co-founding of a consortium to industrialize the biorecycling of plastic, then in 2019 with our participation in the capital increase carried out by Carbios through our private equity fund BOLD, Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development. The groundbreaking ceremony for Carbios’ PET biorecycling plant is another key milestone. It confirms the scaling up of this pioneering technology, which contributes to the sustainable management of the plastic life cycle. We believe in the power of collaboration to build solutions for the future with our partners and get closer every day to reaching our sustainable development objectives. The partnership between L’Oréal Groupe and Carbios is testament to this,” commented Antoine Vanlaeys, Chief Operating Officer, L’Oréal Groupe.

The plant will create 150 direct and indirect jobs in the region. Carbios will receive grants totaling EUR 54 million from French State and Grand-Est Region. Several feedstock supply agreements, notably with CITEO and Landbell Group, will secure the vast majority of the raw materials required.

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