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L’Oréal Helps Found Consortium for Industrial-Scale Plastic Biorecycling

The beauty giant has partnered with Carbios on the project.

PARIS – L’Oréal and green chemistry company Carbios said Friday that they have inked an agreement to jointly found a consortium for plastic biorecycling on an industrial scale.

Their five-year partnership is open to businesses from other sectors interested in developing new plastic biorecycling solutions.

France-based Carbios has developed an enzymatic biorecycling process for plastics that breaks down polymers to the basic components – also known as monomers – first used to create them, the companies explained.

“Once separated and purified, the monomers can be used again to create virgin plastic, without losing any value through the recycling process,” the companies said in a statement. “This biological process is free of the constraints facing conventional recycling techniques and is the first step to developing a new way of managing the plastic lifecycle – in line with the circular economy.”

The beauty giant plans to use the technology while designing new packaging.

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L’Oréal has been focused on sustainable packaging for numerous years already. “We currently use up to 100 percent recycled plastic for several different products,” said Philippe Thuvien, L’Oréal packaging and development vice president, adding with the new partnership the group goes a step further in protecting the environment and helping boost the circular economy.

L’Oréal has in place a sustainability program called “Sharing Beauty With All.” As part of it, the company is committed to improving by 2020 the environmental or social profile of 100 percent of its new or renovated products.