Enzymatic Biodegradation
CARBIOS Active provides a complementary solution to recycling

Exploring new, environmentally-friendly approaches to manage the life cycle of plastic materials

Process overview

Our enzymatic biodegradation process makes PLA (Polylactic Acid)100 % compostable, even at room temperature.

This bioplastic is present in many short-lived packaging items used on a daily basis (coffee capsules, tea bags, packaging films, etc.). Until now, its limitation has been its compostability, which is only possible under industrial conditions and at certain temperatures.

With CARBIOS Active, an innovation developed by Carbiolice, a Carbios Group company, this constraint has been overcome. Plastic packaging made from PLA now joins bio-waste when it is collected and can easily be recovered through composting (industrial or domestic) or methanization. Our technology therefore provides a sustainable and environmentally-friendly end-of-life for these products, enabling them to enter a circular economy.

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How does it work?

The encapsulated enzyme, CARBIOS Active, is directly integrated into the manufacturing of flexible or rigid PLA packaging, without any changes to production lines. Our technology then remains inactive throughout the product’s useful life, without altering its mechanical properties. Only when collected with biowaste and under composting conditions (temperature, humidity, pH…), does the encapsulated enzyme become active, allowing the packaging to disintegrate completely and biodegrade for residue-free, non-toxic compost and a quality return to the soil.

CARBIOS Active is the first biological solution enabling PLA-rich films to be certified “OK compost Home” by Tüv Austria.

Recognition for scientific expertise

We recently published a groundbreaking article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature, in collaboration with the Toulouse Biotechnology Institute (TBI), our longstanding academic partner.

The article presents enzyme optimization work leading to an enzyme-embedded PLA able to disintegrate and biodegrade in home-compost conditions faster than certification timeframe requirements.


CARBIOS Active, the encapsulated enzyme at the heart of our PLA biodegradation solution, is the result of the unique know-how developed by CARBIOS’ R&D teams by exploiting the properties of the highly specific enzyme to improve the biodegradation performance and lifecycle of PLA products.

This publication in Nature, widely regarded as the most influential scientific journal, comes in addition to the 2020 publication on enzymatic depolymerization of PET, confirming CARBIOS’ leadership in enzymatic engineering.


To read the Nature article online

Click here


CARBIOS Active has the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label ! Our solution is part of the 1,000 solutions to change the world.




Carbiolice, a Carbios Group company, is labelled GreenTech Innovation by the French Ministry of Ecological Transition.

A recognition attesting to our innovative solution with strong growth potential and to its contribution to the acceleration of the ecological transition.

Development stage and outlooks

The bioplastics market, and PLA in particular, is one of great potential. Indeed, by 2027, global bioplastics production capacity is set to triple (European Bioplastics nova-Institute 2022). What’s more, regulations concerning the management of plastic waste are multiplying worldwide, with the aim of achieving zero waste. That’s why our eco-responsible, circular technology has its place in the plastic packaging market.

To date, a manufacturing line capable of addressing 50,000 tonnes of compostable PLA is already up and running. In addition, multiple professional qualifications have been undertaken with major brands and plastics converters to help them implement our technology. In the same vein, our teams specialize in business development and product development to meet the different needs of our customers.


CARBIOS Active is BPI Certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), North America’s leading authority on compostable products and packaging.



CARBIOS Active is also certified ‘Home Compostable’ from DIN CERTCO, a German organization that uses the same certification standards as TÜV Austria.


PLA incorporating CARBIOS Active recently obtained “OK Compost HOME” certification from TÜV Austria, a world-renowned certification body. This applies to PLA-rich formulations containing 5% CARBIOS Active and covers a range of products from flexible films to rigid applications.


In addition, CARBIOS Active is included in the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) with the Assigned Food Contact Notification (FCN) 2325. CARBIOS Active can be used to make packaging materials that are sold in the United States and come into contact with food, including rigid and flexible packaging, and other applications.