Carbios, a pioneer in biological technologies that reinvent the life cycle of plastics and textiles, has secured significant financial backing from the French government in a step forward for sustainable practices. The France-based company has been awarded €30 million ($36.5 million) in funding by the French State as part of the France 2030 investment plan and an additional €12.5 million ($15.2 million) from the Grand-Est Region. These funds’ allocation depends on the approval of the corresponding state aid scheme by the European Commission and the conclusion of federal aid agreements.
Carbios’ project, selected in a national call for proposals focused on “Plastics Recycling” operated by ADEME, is designed to finalize the industrialization of their unique PET recycling process. Due to commence operations in 2025, the reference plant will be located in Longlaville in the Grand-Est region, making it the world’s first PET recycling plant. The plant will produce the two fundamental components of PET, PTA and MEG, both derived from Carbios’s process.
The funding from the French State, totaling €11.4 million ($13.9 million), will be utilized to research further the optimization and continuous improvement of Carbios’ enzymatic technologies. In addition, €8.2 million ($10 million) will be directed towards Carbios, with €3.2 million ($3.9 million) earmarked for academic partners, including INRAE, INSA, and CNRS via the TWB and TBI joint service and research units.
Several French governmental figures voiced their support for the project, including Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion; Roland Lescure, French Minister for Industry; Bruno Bonnell, Secretary General for Investment FRANCE 2030; and Franck Leroy, President of Grand-Est Region.
Once operational, the plant is set to secure the sales of the first volumes of recycled PET produced with Carbios’ technology, aiming to offer partners recycled PET of equivalent quality to virgin PET. The plant, scheduled to be commissioned in 2025, will have a nominal processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes of PET waste annually, equivalent to 2 billion bottles or 2.5 billion food trays.
Carbios’ CEO, Emmanuel Ladent, expressed gratitude for the French State’s support, which has enabled the company to demonstrate the economic and environmental competitiveness of its technology at an industrial scale. Furthermore, the ongoing support from ADEME and the Grand-Est Region is vital for the industrial expansion that marks the beginning of the company’s international deployment, according to Ladent.