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CARBIOS Celebrates the Groundbreaking of Its Pet Biorecycling Plant, a World First, With Its Partners

CARBIOS (Euronext Growth Paris: ALCRB), a pioneer in the development and industrialization of biological technologies to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textiles, today celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the world's first PET biorecycling plant in the presence of representatives of local authorities, partner brands and industrial partners who all make up CARBIOS’ ecosystem. Located in Longlaville, in the Grand-Est region of France, CARBIOS' first commercial plant will play a key role in the fight against plastic pollution, offering an industrial-scale solution for the enzymatic depolymerization of PET waste in order to accelerate a circular economy for plastic and textiles. The plant will have a processing capacity of 50 kt/year of prepared waste when operating at full capacity. Work is progressing on schedule with significant quantities delivered to customers in 2026.

Figure 1: (from left to right): Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of CARBIOS; Hamdi TOUDMA, Mayor of Longlaville; Françoise SOULIMAN, Prefect of Meurthe-et-Moselle; Richard-Daniel BOISSON, Sub-prefect of Val-de-Briey; Chaynesse KHIROUNI, President of the Meurthe-et-Moselle Departmental Council; Mathieu Brandibat, SGPI Critical and Sustainable Materials Adviser; Véronique GUILLOTIN, Senator and Regional Councillor; Philippe Pouletty, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CARBIOS; Serge de CARLI, Chairman of the Longwy Conurbation; Martine ETIENNE, Member of Parliament. Image Credit: CARBIOS

PET, the second most widely used plastic in the world, is mainly manufactured from oil. Thanks to CARBIOS’ enzymatic biorecycling technology, PET will no longer be made from oil, but from its own waste. This technological breakthrough opens up new recycling streams for multilayered, coloured and opaque trays made from packaging waste and polyester textile waste, which until now have been little or not recycled at all, giving them value. In addition, this breakthrough positions France as a pioneer in green innovation, contributing to its reindustrialisation and leadership in the transition to a sustainable economy.

In a LinkedIn post published on 24 April 2024, Emmanuel Macron, President of France, said: “A technological revolution is taking shape tomorrow with the groundbreaking ceremony of CARBIOS’ plant in Longlaville: the world's first biorecycling plant. French pride! Ecological transition and growth, made in France and innovation go hand in hand.”

Christophe Béchu, Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion: “At a time when governments are negotiating an international treaty against plastic pollution in Ottowa, the groundbreaking of CARBIOS’ biorecycling plant is particularly significant. It illustrates France's commitment to the ecological transition, and demonstrates our ability to turn challenges into opportunities for a more sustainable future. This plant, a world first, embodies French innovation in responding to complex environmental challenges, offering a sustainable solution for a future where plastic and textile waste will be transformed into valuable resources for a truly circular economy.”

Roland Lescure, Minister Delegate in charge of Industry: “This inauguration is emblematic of the green industrial revolution that we have been implementing for the past year: French technology that is sustainable, innovative and creates jobs. It is also emblematic of the method I am applying with all industrial sectors: the ecology of the contract. With the financial and administrative support of the French government, the new CARBIOS plant in Longlaville will remove a major technological barrier to the development of the textile recycling industry in France.”

Franck Leroy, President of Région Grand-Est : "I'm proud to support the deployment of the world's first plant dedicated to the biorecycling of PET. CARBIOS is a perfect illustration of our vision of modern, responsible re-industrialisation, placing the Grand Est region at the heart of the ecological transition. This key innovation in the fight against plastic pollution will also create 150 jobs in the Longlaville area."

Emmanuel Ladent, CEO, CARBIOS: At CARBIOS, we have turned a vision into reality with the groundbreaking of the world's first PET biorecycling plant. Our revolutionary enzymatic depolymerization technology marks the beginning of a new era in plastic recycling, moving away from dependence on oil to a circular economy fuelled by PET waste itself. CARBIOS continues its mission by collaborating with strategic partners around the world and embarking on a promising commercial and international deployment.  I would like to thank our partner brands and industrial partners present, particularly L'Oréal Groupe, L'Occitane en Provence, PUMA, Suntory Beverage & Food Europe, Salomon, On, CITEO and Novonesis for their contribution to the success of this historic event.”

Philippe Pouletty, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of CARBIOS: “We can help save the planet thanks to science, passionate teams, private and public funding to meet industrial and commercial stakes, and loyal partners. This groundbreaking ceremony for the Longlaville plant marks the start of our industrial and commercial roll-out to make CARBIOS a world leader in plastic recycling in the coming years.”

Antoine Vanlaeys, Chief Operating Officer, L'Oréal Groupe: “We are delighted to be a long-standing partner of CARBIOS: an adventure that began nearly seven years ago with the co-founding of a consortium to industrialize the biorecycling of plastic, then in 2019 with our participation in the capital increase carried out by CARBIOS through our private equity fund BOLD, Business Opportunities for L'Oréal Development. The groundbreaking ceremony for CARBIOS’ PET biorecycling plant is another key milestone. It confirms the scaling up of this pioneering technology, which contributes to the sustainable management of the plastic life cycle. We believe in the power of collaboration to build solutions for the future with our partners and get closer every day to reaching our sustainable development objectives. The partnership between L'Oréal Groupe and CARBIOS is testament to this.” 

The World's First PET Biorecycling Plant

CARBIOS' technology enables PET circularity and provides an alternative raw material to fossil-based monomers, giving PET producers, waste management companies, public bodies and brands an effective solution to meet regulatory requirements and their own commitments to sustainable development. The plant will have the capacity to process 50,000 tons of prepared PET waste per year (equivalent to 2 billion colored bottles, 2.5 billion food trays or 300 million T-shirts). The plant will create 150 direct and indirect jobs in the region. In October 2023, CARBIOS obtained the building and operating permits for the site. The factory is currently under construction on land officially acquired from Indorama Ventures on 14 February 2024. In February 2024, CARBIOS and De Smet Engineers & Contractors (DSEC) announced their collaboration to manage construction. Several feedstock supply agreements, notably with CITEO and Landbell Group, will secure the vast majority of the raw materials required.  Close to the borders with Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, the plant's location is strategic for access to nearby waste supplies.

As part of France 2030, CARBIOS will receive grants totaling €54 million from French State and Grand-Est Region.

France 2030 is an investment plan on an unprecedented scale. €54 billion will be invested to ensure that companies, universities and research organizations are in a position to respond competitively to the ecological and attractiveness challenges of the world ahead, and to foster the emergence of future leaders in our sectors of excellence, particularly in the field of ecological transition. From fundamental research, to the emergence of an idea, to the production of a new product or service, France 2030 supports the entire life cycle of innovation, right through to industrialization.

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