CARBIOS, a bioplastics innovator, and Zhink Group, a major Chinese polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer, have announced a collaboration to build China’s first large-scale PET biorecycling plant.

The joint letter of intent paves the way for a long-term partnership and an initial licensing agreement.

The planned biorecycling plant will have a minimum processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes (t) of PET waste per year, with the potential for expansion.

The recycled PET (rPET) produced will serve the regional and global packaging and textile markets.

According to CARBIOS, China is the world’s largest PET producer, accounting for 61% of global production. The country is also a major PET consumer, with growing demand for rPET.

The partnership positions CARBIOS to tap into this vast market and establish itself as a key technology provider.

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For Zhink Group meanwhile, the collaboration offers a strategic advantage.

CARBIOS’ enzymatic depolymerisation technology offers a solvent-free and efficient way to recycle all types of PET waste, including coloured plastics and textiles, into virgin-quality PET.

This translates to increased rPET production and a more sustainable footprint, aligning with China’s ‘dual carbon’ policies.

The aforementioned licensing agreement marks a significant milestone for CARBIOS’ global reach. 

The China-based plant will join the world’s first industrial-scale enzymatic PET recycling facility currently under construction in France.

Additionally, CARBIOS holds patents for its technology in China, ensuring intellectual property protection.

“There is great momentum in China to accelerate the circular economy and meet its target of carbon neutrality by 2060,” said Emmanuel Ladent, CEO of CARBIOS.

“The technology developed by CARBIOS makes perfect sense in this context: capable of recycling all types of PET waste, it promotes a circular economy with high-quality products and significantly reduces the carbon footprint of industries.”

This collaboration between CARBIOS and Zhink Group is a promising development for the future of PET recycling in China and globally.

It has the potential to significantly increase rPET production and promote a more sustainable plastics industry.