First clear plastic bottles produced from enzymatically recycled textile waste

Carbios, a company pioneering new enzymatic solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers, has announced it has successfully produced the ‘first bottles’ containing 100% recycled Purified Terephthalic Acid (rPTA) from textile waste that contains a high PET content.

The company says this confirms the capacity of Carbios’ technology to recycle textile waste and opens up access to an additional waste stream of up to 42 million tons per year, worth over $40 billion, it says.

Professor Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer of Carbios, said: “I am very proud that we successfully transformed polyester textile waste into clear bottles, which have identical properties as those made from virgin PET.

“This major innovation allows us to expand our sources of supply which, until now, consisted primarily of PET plastic waste.”


Currently, mechanical recycling technologies do not enable clothing waste to be ‘recycled efficiently’, according to Carbios. 

It says the few textiles that can be reused are incorporated into lower quality applications such as padding, insulators or rags.

It says its ‘breakthrough’ enables polyester textile fibres to be upcycled in a ‘high-quality’ grade of PET suitable for the production of clear bottles.

“This result demonstrates the extent of our technology’s possibilities: We can now produce transparent bottles from polyester textile waste or from post-consumer coloured bottles. This works both ways – so we can also make a t-shirt from bottles or disposable food trays,” said Professor Marty.

We can now produce transparent bottles from polyester textile waste or from post-consumer coloured bottles.

Carbios has succeeded in producing PET fibres for textile applications with 100% rPTA, from enzymatically recycled PET plastic waste, it says.

These major outcomes were achieved as part of the CE-PET (Circular Economy PET) research project, of which Carbios is the lead alongside its partner TWB (Toulouse White Biotechnology). This project was financed by ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency).

Carbios’ says its process enables ‘low-value’ waste to be recovered and to have a new life in more challenging applications – it says this facilitates ‘infinite recycling of PET-based plastics and textiles’.

Carbios is a chemistry company that develops biological and innovative processes to revolutionise the end of life of plastics and textiles.

Through its unique approach of combining enzymes and plastics, Carbios says it aim to address new consumer expectations and the challenges of a broader energy transition by taking up a ‘major challenge of our time: plastic and textile pollution’.

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