The new recycling buzzword is Enzymatic Recycling. It's a big deal because it overcomes the issues associated with degradation in conventional recycling and can be used on any type of PET plastic.
Setting aside the ongoing matter of pollution responsibility and actually collecting plastic for recycling in the first place, what's important about this deal is the industrial scale of the collaboration as well as the manufacturing. Arch rivals working together to tackle these challenges towards a world of circularity and limiting the production of virgin plastic. A few weeks ago, the manufacturer behind the breakthrough technology announced that after 10 years of research and development, they had essentially supercharged an enzyme found naturally in compost heaps to break down PET plastic and turn it into a virgin-quality grade like-new plastic.
THE PROMISE OF ENDLESSLY RECYCLED PET PLASTIC IS ONE STEP CLOSER, AS THE CONSORTIUM ANNOUNCED THE SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTION OF THE WORLD’S FIRST FOOD-GRADE PET PLASTIC BOTTLES PRODUCED ENTIRELY FROM ENZYMATICALLY RECYCLED PLASTIC.
The recycle process can be achieved at high speed – breaking down 97% of plastic in just 16 hours – 10,000 times more efficient than any biological plastic recycling trial to date (peer-reviewed article in Nature). Carbios also says that the process additionally lowers the carbon footprint of PET waste treatment by saving 30% of CO2 emissions compared to a conventional end of life mix of incineration and landfill, taking virgin PET production substitution into account.
Original story and main image seen on Sustainable Brands. Read story here.