Transforming plastic waste into resources
is currently a major focus of the circular economy
The recovery of plastic and textile materials is anchored in our DNA
Production of biodegradable plastics
The innovation of the biodegradation process consists of introducing enzymes into plastic and/or textile materials to make them biodegradable. These enzymes make it possible for PLA plastics to be 100% biodegradable under universal composting conditions (industrial, domestic or methanization.)
Development stage and outlooks
For PLA-based plastics (polylactic acid – polymer of biobased origin), this technology was licensed in 2016 to Carbiolice, currently jointly owned by Carbios and the SPI “Sociétés de Projets Industriels” fund operated by Bpifrance. This innovative solution is implemented in the form of an enzyme-based additive known as Evanesto®, which is easily integrated into conventional plastic and packaging manufacturing processes. Carbiolice offers an innovation capable of ensuring compostability of packaging with a high PLA content even under domestic conditions. Through its production plant, Carbiolice will address different markets (flexible or rigid): the food industry (bags, trays, yoghurt pots, etc.), logistics (packaging bubbles, films) or agriculture (mulching films, horticultural pots, etc.)
Global annual production capacity of PLA was estimated at around 275,000 metric tons in 2020 (source: Projection of Nova Institute in 2011 and European Bioplastics in 2011) and, according to producer announcements, it could reach as much as 400,000 metric tons in 2024, i.e. growth of 7.7% per year (source: Total in 2020.)
Other areas of innovation
Through our research and development work, we aim to extend our recycling and biodegradation processes to other polymers and other applications of interest to industry. Work carried out to date in this field has focused on the following areas: enzymatic recycling of PLA, and the biodegradation of PLA textiles and 3D-printed parts.
Other focuses of innovation have already been identified to adapt our processes to waste containing polymers other than PLA and PET, such as polyamides (PA6, PA6, etc.), polyolefins (polyethylene PE, polypropylene PP, etc.), elastomers (natural rubber, etc.) for which we could work to identify new enzyme/polymer couples.