Novel enzyme developed to break down and recycle PET plastic
The enzyme has been developed to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, and will reportedly enable plastic packaging to be recycled and re-used more efficiently.
Carbios, a company pioneering new bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers, has announced the development of a novel enzyme which can break down and recycle plastic bottles.
The enzyme, which can biologically depolymerise all polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste, is said to have potential future uses in the food and beverage packaging industry. PET is the most common thermoplastic polymer and is used to manufacture bottles, polyester clothing fibres, food containers, and various thermoformed packaging and components.
Carbios’ recycling process aims to initiate the transition to a circular economy and to prevent plastic pollution from harming our oceans and planet. The technology is also said to pave the way for recycling PET fibres, another major challenge in guaranteeing a clean and protected environment for future generations.
Professor Alain Marty, Carbios’ Chief Scientific Officer, said: “The results obtained confirm the industrial and commercial potential of the company’s proprietary process, which will be tested in 2021 in our demonstration plant in the heart of the French Chemical Valley, near Lyon.”
“It’s a real breakthrough in the recycling and manufacturing of PET. Thanks to the innovative technology developed by Carbios, the PET industry will become truly circular, which is the goal for all players in this industry, especially brand-owners, PET producers and our civilisation as a whole,” said Dr. Saleh Jabarin, Distinguished Professor at The University of Toledo, Ohio and a member of Carbios’ Scientific Committee.