Carbios Depolymerises 100% of PET Using Enzymes to Create Biodegradable Plastics
A pioneer in the field of Bioplastics, French Carbios, has now taken a new step forward in the development of its enzymatic depolymerization process rending it applicable to PET polyester fibers from textile waste.
The market of PET plastics represented a world production of 21 million tons in 2014, with an annual growth rate of 4 to 5%.
The firm has already applied its depolymerisation process to PET plastics, and now it says it has depolymerised 100% PET textile waste fibres into their original monomers: PTA (terephthalic acid) and MEG(monoethylene glycol). Currently, the recycling of textile fibres results in a material of lower quality in comparison to the original. But Carbios says that its process produces a high quality virgin PET, in addition to reducing the use of fossil resources in the recycling process.
By making amorphous and crystalline PET infinitely recyclable, Carbios opens a new market which will enable the production of high performance plastics composed entirely of recycled PET. This solid and highly selective technology offers in the meantime the ability to efficiently treat plastic waste that is currently not recycled. This will also support the orientations of the European Commission “Circular Economy Package” to reach at least 55% of recycling for plastics by 2025.
Alain MARTY, Chief Scientific Officer of Carbios comments: “Turning unwanted polyester textiles into high quality raw materials for new products using Carbios enzymatic technology is an opportunity for completely changing textile manufacturing and trade in Europe and beyond. From a sustainable perspective, our approach will significantly improve the overall life cycle impact of textile products.”
Most of textile waste is currently sent to landfills or incinerated and when recycling processes of textile fibers are performed, they are mainly down-cycling, which means a material of lower quality than the original is produced.
As Europe and many other countries in the world are struggling to recycle mountains of waste textile, Carbios innovative technology will help turn this major environmental threat into a new opportunity based on circular economy principles and focused on positive society-wide benefits.