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issue 03/2021

Highlights: Bottles / Blow Moulding Joining Bioplastics Basics: Carbon Capture

Blow Moulding / Bottles

Blow Moulding / Bottles First PET bottles from enzymatically recycled textile waste In late November last year Carbios (Clermont-Ferrand, France), announced it has successfully produced the first bottles containing 100 % recycled Purified Terephthalic Acid (rPTA) from textile waste that contains a high PET content. This result confirms the capacity of Carbios’ technology to recycle textile waste and opens up access to an additional waste stream of up to 42 million tonnes per year, worth over USD 40 billion. In more recent news Carbios announced that a non-exclusive and non-binding Expression Of Intent (EOI) agreement was signed with a significant PET producer. It would have been the second EOI, however, a previous EOI with Equipolymer announced in early April had already been terminated again. Nevertheless, Carbios confirmed its plan to build a first-of-akind 100 % PET recycling production unit using its enzymatic technology. The company will carry out ongoing studies to select the most suitable site, technically and economically, to build this first industrial and commercial unit. Within this agreement, Carbios and the PET producer are considering the opportunity to build the unit on one of the PET producer’s sites. Carbios’ first industrial unit is expected to allow for an annual production of approximately 40,000 tonnes of recycled PET, with the first revenues to be generated in 2025. The unit will be financed by the EUR 114 million capital increase Carbios gained earlier in May. Enzymatic recycling could form an important link for future circular economy concepts, as mechanical recycling technologies, which are currently the most common, have limitation. For one mechanical recycling of e.g., PET bottle can only be done a certain number of times before the material quality deteriorates too much for the application and it is no viable solution for textile waste. The few textiles that can be reused, are incorporated into lower-quality applications such as padding, insulators or rags. For a truly circular economy, such downcycling should be one of the last solutions, not the first. In contrast, the breakthrough developed by Carbios enables polyester textile fibres to be upcycled into a highquality grade of PET suitable for the production of clear bottles. “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,” said Alain Marty, Chief Scientific Officer of Carbios. Carbios has also succeeded in producing PET fibres for textile applications with 100 % rPTA, from enzymatically recycled PET plastic waste. “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 Marty. Carbios’ process enables low-value waste to be recovered and to have a new life in more challenging applications – in short, it facilitates infinite recycling of PET-based plastics and textiles. In a recent interview Martin Stephan, the Deputy CEO of Carbios, commented on the current environmental challenges the world is facing, saying that the problem is not plastics per se, it’s plastic waste. Carbios strategy to battle that is by making plastic waste a valuable commodity. Or how Stephan phrased it, “waste is the new oil.” AT See article on p. 9 https://carbios.fr/en Generic photographs, just for illustration 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16

Paper bottles for renowned brands Blow Moulding / Bottles (Photo: Ecologic Brands) Jabil (Saint Petersburg, FL, USA), recently announced the acquisition of Ecologic Brands, a leading provider of sustainable packaging specializing in paper bottle and paper-based packaging solutions. Ecologic’s Manteca (California, USA) based operation will join the Jabil Packaging Solutions division, significantly enhancing Jabil’s sustainable packaging platform and offerings for consumer packaged goods (CPG) customers. “By fueling Ecologic’s unique paper bottle technology with Jabil’s advanced manufacturing solutions and global scale, we aim to help all consumer brands dramatically reduce plastics in packaging worldwide,” said Jason Paladino, Senior Vice President of Jabil and CEO of Jabil Packaging Solutions. “We’re thrilled to be adding a talented team plus unique and innovative products that directly support our customer demands and Jabil’s enterprise sustainability goals.” In Ecologic, Jabil Packaging Solutions gains a commercially mature paper bottle solution enabled by deep material expertise and innovative manufacturing processes. Major CPG brands including L’Oréal and Seventh Generation rely on Ecologic’s eco.bottle to significantly reduce plastic packaging and advance their sustainability goals. Ecologic Brands utilizes moulded fibre technology to produce paper bottle shells sturdy enough to withstand the roughest supply chains. Recycled cardboard and old newspaper are pulped into a slurry mix in a giant vat that is then transferred to a forming station, which applies tremendous heat and pressure onto tooling cavities that form paper bottle shells. Ecologic Brands uses custom equipment to produce thin, lightweight, collapsible liners that act as the perfect partner to moulded fibre shells. The liner is customizable and can include post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastics and/or new bioplastics. bioplastics MAGAZINE asked about details concerning the bioplastics. “Our customers’ products require different barrier properties, so we collaborate with brands on the optimal material composition of the liners,” said Julie Corbett, Senior Business Unit Director and founder of Ecologic Brands. “We are working on and are testing many bioplastics options. Among these are liners that are home compostable (PHA, PHB, etc.), industrial compostable (PLA, etc.), or new PCR grades and with traditional recyclable polymers that (may well be) biobased. The advantage of Ecologic, powered by Jabil’s, technology is that the liner design is flexible to meet the needs of different products and varied sustainability goals.” “Ecologic and L’Oreal broke new ground when we incubated the world’s first shower-safe paper bottle for the Seed Phytonutrients project. We’re taking things a step further by bringing this innovative packaging solution to our market-leading Matrix and Redken Brands,” said Shane Wolf, President Worldwide, American Professional Brands, L’Oréal Professional Products Division. “Jabil is synonymous with innovation, engineering, automation and scale, so we can only imagine the solutions that will emerge through its union with Ecologic Brands. The possibilities and accessibility for sustainable packaging options are now limitless.” “Ecologic has been a great partner over the past decade in helping us reimagine the laundry bottle and we’re thrilled to see the acquisition by Jabil,” said Joey Bergstein, CEO of Seventh Generation. “The world needs solutions at scale that reduce plastic waste and improve circularity. Jabil’s global scale and deep engineering expertise will propel Ecologic’s sustainable packaging solutions to a global footprint, in every category and format type. It’s truly a win for customers, the planet, and the industry.” “I am so proud that our paper bottle was the world’s first breakthrough technology that helps solve the growing environmental challenges caused by plastic,” said Corbett. “Our pioneering efforts created and validated market opportunity, and now, Jabil provides the ideal mix of global footprint, manufacturing excellence, and a customer-first culture to fully pursue our vision of leadership.” While the team and operations will join Jabil, the company will continue to utilize the Ecologic name as its sustainable packaging product platform. MT www.jabil.com | www.ecologicbrands.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/21] Vol. 16 15

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