Plastic Packaging

L’Oreal meets sustainable packaging objectives via enzymatic recycling

L'Oreal launches an infinitely recyclable plastic cosmetics bottle.

plastic recycling PET recycling biotech L'Oreal

The world’s largest beauty brand developed a cosmetic bottle made entirely from recycled plastic, derived through an enzymatic technique.

Pioneered by French company Carbios which partnered with L’Oreal on this occasion, the bacterial enzyme in question is unique in that it cannot only degrade a plastic bottle within hours but also convert it to the point that it can be recycled into a new bottle. Existing technologies have only managed to produce recycled plastic that can be used in particular items such as carpets, sleeping bags or sweaters. The bacterial enzyme also proves exemplary in that it can break down multiple types of hybrid plastics, ranging from the opaque and transparent to the coloured and amorphous. Carbios recycling process also proves beneficial in that it works under mild conditions, thereby saving on 30 percent of possible carbon emissions that incineration and landfill would provoke.

The new bottles featuring L’Oreal’s luxury brand Biotherm come as part of L’Oreal’s 2030 sustainability objectives. With regards to packaging in the future,  the beauty brand intends to source plastic solely from recycled or biosourced materials while making sure that any ingredients it should use fall under the same umbrella.