PARIS — L’Oréal is dipping into biotech.
The French beauty giant said Wednesday that it has taken a minority stake in Carbios, a French company that produces bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers.
Terms of the deal, which was made through L’Oréal’s corporate venture fund BOLD, Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, were not disclosed.
Beauty industry players are focusing on the use of plastic in their packaging, and how it can better integrate in a circular economy.
“With this operation, Carbios will finance, amongst other elements, the industrial demonstrator for the bio-recycling of plastics and polyester fibers in PET plastic, a first step towards industrializing the technology it has designed,” L’Oréal said in a statement.
“This participation demonstrates our support of new sustainable development technologies, in line with our commitment that by 2025, 100 percent of our packaging will be recycled, recyclable or compostable, and more specifically, 50 percent of the plastics used in our packaging will be recycled or bio-sourced,” said Barbara Lavernos, executive vice president operations at L’Oréal. “Carbios is developing a pioneering plastic recycling technology, based on both our circular economy principles and biotechnologies.”
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L’Oréal and Carbios in 2017 jointly founded a consortium to bring improved recycling technology to market on an industrial scale. More recently, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe joined the consortium.
L’Oréal’s venture fund was begun in late 2018 to take minority stakes in start-ups with high growth potential. The fund invests in new business models in marketing, research and innovation, digital, retail, communication, supply chain and packaging, and support the start-ups with the group’s expertise, networking and mentorship.
It’s part of L’Oréal’s open innovation strategy, which includes partnerships with Founders Factory, Partech International Ventures, Station F and Raise Ventures.
BOLD’s first investment was in Sillages Paris.