Carbios has developed a technology which can depolymerize textile waste fibers made of PET plastics into their original monomers. The technology uses enzymes to create biodegradable plastics and recycle existing plastics into their original compounds for reuse. Plastic textile waste accounts for more of the waste from PET than plastic bottles. Carbios technology uses enzymes to break PET down into its main consituents, PTA (terephthalic acid) and MEG (monoethylene glycol). This is what makes the plastic recyclable.
PET is the most commonly recognized plastic in the world and has a variety of uses from plastic bottles and packaging to textile fibers, or polyester. Each year, 43 million tons of PET are produced for the textile market, compared to 15 million tons for the production of plastic bottles. Most textile waste is currently sent to landfills or incinerated, highlighting the need for effective textile recycling technologies.