"A huge step forward." "Revolutionary technology." "Innovation catalyst." These are just a few of the phrases used to describe Carbios' breakthrough recycling enzyme that could change the entire recycling process as we know it. And they're calling it biorecycling.
Who is this company, and what exactly do they do? Carbios is a green chemistry company with an aim to create innovative bioprocesses to reshape the lifecycle of plastics. They look to the processes of our planet to invent ways to insure plastic no longer becomes waste. They specialize in biorecycling and biodegradation. We'll get to those two terms in just a second. For now, let's focus on the company.
Carbios was founded back in 2011, and since then they have been on an aggressive path to creating solutions for plastic recycling. The issue was identified: 125 million tons of plastic are generated every year, with 9 million of those tons being discarded into nature. The current processes of dealing with this issue just are not fast enough. So, the company looked to new ways plastic could be broken down safely, which started with examining natural processes. Mother Nature always knows best.
From there, the company embarked on partnerships, patents, licenses, tests, and everything else needed to get their ideas up and running. In 2017, they began winning awards. In 2020, they began gaining significant press. Now here we are, on the brink of major change. With collaborations with large companies such as PepsiCo and L'Oreal, two companies contributing greatly to our plastic waste crisis, this appears to be a turning point.
Biorecycling & Biodegradation
What on Earth? (Pun ... very much intended.) Check out the below videos to learn about the processes Carbios has created, and just how fast they work.
In short, biorecycling is the breakdown of plastic with the use of an enzyme. This means that the plastic 1) does not have to be sorted, 2) can be recycled infinitely, and 3) can be broken down in a matter of hours.
Put simply, biodegradation is the embedding of enzymes in plastic to make them fully biodegradable, safely and naturally. That means that plastic products made with this technology will biodegrade naturally in 125 days, about 4 months time. That certainly beats the typical biodegrade time of hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
So, Carbios is up to some really good things in regards to recycling. It's great to see positive news, especially with the course of 2020 thus far. If you want to learn more about them, check out their website. There's plenty to learn!