Carbios, a green chemistry company developing cutting-edge technologies in the recovery of plastic waste and the production of bio-polymers, and SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT announced the signing of a preliminary agreement for future cooperation in the field of recovery and recycling of plastic waste. This agreement shapes the two companies’ common strategy to place circular economy at the heart of their business model and propose new ways of recycling plastic waste.
As part of this preliminary phase, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT will provide Carbios with plastic waste deposits from its subsidiary SITA France’s treatment sites. Carbios will explore plastic waste composition in order to enrich its range of biological tools and expand the potential of plastic waste recovery. Carbios will then test these bioprocesses on the available deposits and validate their processing efficiency for better recycling and recovery of waste plastics. The aim is to implement the most effective processes to decompose plastic waste and collect its basic component, the polymer, as high quality as a petroleum-based product. This infinite recycling process thus allows avoiding chemical and mechanical constraints encountered in conventional recycling processes.
The recycling of plastics: an environmental challenge
25 million tons of plastic waste are produced every year in Europe of which only 20% are recycled. They represent a major environmental challenge but also a considerable deposit of untapped renewable resources. Their recovery is at the heart of both Carbios and SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s concerns.
“We are delighted that SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has placed its trust in us. This strengthens the strategic positioning of our innovative biological processes in the field of plastic waste recovery, as developed under the Thanaplast™ project. The combination of our expertises will accelerate the implementation of effective industrial solutions to the major environmental challenge posed by end-of-life plastic and provide an answer to this question: how can we recover and recycle more and more plastic waste with as little environmental impact as possible?”, said Jean-Claude Lumaret, CEO of Carbios.
“Innovation lies at the very heart of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT’s strategy, which accompanies young and promising companies like Carbios. Waste management is a major component of circular economy. It requires an effective process of resources and recovered products into secondary raw materials. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has always sought, through its subsidiaries, to partner with complementary expertise to carry out its projects and remain a pioneer in its key domains – collecting and recycling”, said Paul-Joël Derian, Deputy Director of Innovation & Industrial Performance at SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT. “Carbios enzymatic processes seem particularly interesting and promising to us, as they will allow better recycling and recovery of end-of-life plastic waste while respecting the environment.”
Carbios is a young innovative green chemistry company, whose mission is to find biological solutions to the environmental and sustainable development issues faced by industrial businesses. Carbios has acquired the rights to exploit research performed over a number of years by various public- and private-sector laboratories and has used them as a foundation for the development of innovative industrial bioprocesses for optimizing the technical, economic and environmental performance of polymers (including thermoplastic materials and synthetic or food-based fibers) by leveraging the unique properties of biological catalysts (enzymes). The company has initially chosen to focus its work on a strategic application sector: plastics. Carbios’ growth strategy is based on a clear business model for industrial value creation that targets attractive markets, develops innovative, competitive bioprocesses and licenses them to major industrial stakeholders for commercialization. Carbios benefits from the financial support of the leading European venture capital firm Truffle Capital. Carbios was founded in 2011 and is managed, since its inception, via the Holding Incubatrice Chimie Verte fund. For more information, please visit: www.carbios.fr/en
About SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT
Natural resources are not infinite. Each day, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT (Paris: SEV, Brussels: SEVB) and its subsidiaries deal with the challenge of protecting resources by providing innovative solutions to industry and to millions of people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT supplies drinking water to 96.6 million people, provides wastewater treatment services for 66.3 million people and collects the waste produced by 50 million people. SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has 79,550 employees and, with its presence on five continents, is a world leader exclusively dedicated to water and waste management services. In 2012, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT generated revenues of EUR 15.1 billion.
For more information: www.suez-environnement.com
 Source: April 2011 European Commission – Plastic waste in the environment