L’Oreal encourages biotech investment through Carbios minority stake

By Natasha Spencer

- Last updated on GMT

L’Oreal encourages biotech investment through Carbios minority stake
French personal care giant, L’Oréal, supports innovations to manage the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers through backing bio-industrial solutions provider, Carbios.

Green chemistry company, Carbios, receives investment from L’Oréal’s corporate venture capital fund BOLD Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development, which the company launched in December 2018.

Carbios aims to progress the life process of plastic and textile polymers in cosmetics product manufacturing. As part of this commitment, it has developed sustainable technology to support the biorecycling of plastics and polyester fibers in PET plastic.

Recycling technology on an industrial scale

The French brand uses highly specific enzymes that can recycle a wider range of PET plastics and polyester fibers feedstock than other recycling technologies. Carbios will now inject funds into an industrial demonstrator in a bid to commercialise its technology on an industrial scale.

The new technological process develops recycled PET equivalent to virgin PET. Plastics can then be used in personal care applications such as packaging for bottles.

Business partnership

Commenting on the partnership, Barbara Lavernos, Executive Vice-President Operations of L’Oréal, shared: “This participation demonstrates our support of new sustainable development technologies, in line with our commitment that by 2025, 100% of our packaging will be recycled, recyclable or compostable, and more specifically, 50% of the plastic used in our packaging will be recycled or bio-sourced.”

The minority stake investment is not the first joint venture for French brands L’Oréal and Carbios, as the duo established a Consortium in 2017. Upon entering the initiative, the two companies strived to create and deliver enhanced recycling technology to the commercial market on an industrial scale.

Household names including Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe recently became part of the Consortium as they aim to back the circular plastics economy using Carbios’ enzyme-based recycling technology.

“Carbios is developing a pioneering plastic recycling technology, based on both circular economy principles and biotechnologies, and we are proud to support them in their development,”​ added Lavernos.

Investment aims

L'Oréal Development’s Bold Business Opportunities is a corporate venture capital fund set up to analyse minority stakes in companies that have high growth potential.

Focusing on innovation, the consumer company’s fund supports new business models in a broad selection of industries within the personal care space including marketing, research and innovation, digital, retail, communication, supply chain and packaging.

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