Plastic water bottles
Carbios' new recycling plant will focus on enzymatic recycling of polyethylene terephthalate.

Carbios starts construction on PET recycling plant in France

The new facility will be an industrial demonstration plant for the enzymatic recycling of PET scrap.


Carbios, which is focused on developing bioindustrial solutions to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textile polymers, has started construction on its industrial demonstration plant for the enzymatic recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic. The demonstration plant is near Lyon in France’s Chemistry Valley, the French hub of innovation and industrial production in the chemical, environmental and cleantech sector. 

According to a news release from Carbios, the company is being supported and advised by U.K.-based TechnipFMC for the engineering and construction of this demonstration plant.

Paris-based Carbios aims to define the main parameters for each step of the enzymatic recycling process at its new plant. According to Carbios' website, the company's enzymatic recycling processes provide a way to recycle plastics to infinity by returning them to their original monomers.

The company states that this will help it to scale up operation for future industrial units. The first phase of the system operations is scheduled to launch in the second quarter of 2021, which will allow Carbios to establish the complete engineering documents for the process for the construction and implementation of the first industrial unit for a licensee with an estimated capacity of between 50,000 to 100,000 metric tons per year.

The company says the demonstration plant will validate the technical, environmental and economic performance of Carbios’ innovative technology. It will also produce batches of monomers for technical and regulatory validation of recycled PET by future licensees.

“Our technology is able to meet a very strong market demand, particularly from the brand owners of our consortium, which include companies like L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe,” says Martin Stephan, chief operating officer of Carbios. “Each of these, and many other global multinational firms have made ambitious commitments towards sustainable development. This demonstration plant will be a showcase site to validate the economic and technical performance of our process and to ensure the training of our future licensees.”

“The demonstration unit allows us to test different waste streams and to adapt certain steps of our process to the specification of collection systems,” says Antoine Sévenier, industrial development director at Carbios. “I am very excited to see our revolutionary technology industrializing and becoming a commercial reality in the near future.”