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Carbios equips L’Occitane en Provence with enzymatically recycled shower oil bottle

June 8, 2024
Energy & Chemical Value Chain

L’Occitane en Provence’s Amande shower oil has been outfitted with a bottle based on transparent PET made entirely from enzymatic recycling. The launch comes in collaboration with enzymatic recycler Carbios and packaging provider Pinard Beauty Pack, aligning with the industry’s transition to a circular plastic economy.

“Carbios’ innovation accelerates the transition to a circular economy by offering an alternative to petro-sourced PET and a circular PET recycling solution that reduces CO2 emissions by 57%,” says Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of Carbios.

“But to create an efficient recycling sector, all players in the value chain have their part to play, and must work together,” he continues. “The long-term partnership between Carbios and L’Occitane is testament of this shared desire to promote more responsible consumption.”

“The bottle produced with L’Occitane and its converter Pinard illustrates how the industry is moving forward.”

French circular operations
The 100% rPET bottle from Carbios’ enzymatic depolymerization production began with the local supply of PET waste — which had already been collected, sorted and prepared — to the Carbios industrial demonstrator in Clermont-Ferrand, France.

The waste consisted of colored bottles, multilayer trays and mechanical recycling residues, none of which are currently recycled using conventional technologies.

Carbios deconstructed the PET waste into its original monomers, PTA and MEG, using its biorecycling technology. The resulting monomers were then repolymerized into new, fully recycled PET resins within Europe.

In Oyonnax, France, Pinard Beauty Pack blow-molded these resins to create bottles according to L’Occitane’s specifications. The bottles were then filled with shower oil at its Manosque plant.

“This bottle was blow-molded under the same conditions and with the same parameters as virgin or mechanically recycled PET, a considerable advantage for the deployment of Carbios’ technology,” details Paolo Coelho, plant director at Pinard Beauty Pack.

“We’re seeing strong demand for high-quality recycled PET which can be used to produce the same applications as with virgin PET.”

Biorecycling benchmark
Recent lifecycle analyses by Ecoinvent show a 57% reduction of CO2 emissions in biorecycled plastic compared to virgin plastic production. “For every metric ton of recycled PET produced, 1.3 metric tons of oil are avoided,” highlights Carbios.

Compared with conventional recycling, enzymatic recycling is five times more circular (calculated according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Material Circularity Indicator).

Due to its “highly selective” enzyme, optimized for efficient PET degradation, Carbios’ depolymerization technology can handle all types of PET waste, including colored, multilayer or textile waste that cannot be recycled with current technologies.

The technology also complements mechanical recycling technologies, Carbios highlights. Furthermore, it shares that the two monomers produced (PTA and MEG) make it possible to recreate recycled PET products suitable for food contact and of “identical quality” to those of petroleum origin.

“Today, just over 50% of our PET material is from recycled origin. Thanks in particular to Carbios and depolymerization technologies, we will be able to reach 100% by 2027 for all our retail bottles,” says Coelho.

“We are very satisfied with the quality of the bottle produced in collaboration with Carbios and Pinard, which enables us to reduce our reliance on fossil-based plastic and offers a viable alternative with equivalent quality and transparency, which is important to showcase our products.”

The bottle will be on display at Carbios’ stand at “Edition Spéciale” by LuxePack, a trade show centered on sustainable premium packaging innovations, on June 4–5 at the Carreau du Temple in Paris, France.

In other developments, Carbios recently entered a supply agreement with Hündgen Entsorgung, a waste management expert in logistics, for Carbios’ first commercial PET bio-recycling plant.

Starting from the end of 2026, Hündgen will supply 15-kilo tons per year of post-consumer PET flakes to Carbios’ plant in Longlaville, France. The partnership leverages Hündgen’s expertise in sourcing and preparing light packaging waste, which will be processed into flakes ready for bio-recycling using Carbios’ enzymatic depolymerization technology.

Edited by Benjamin Ferrer


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