While the recycling of plastic waste is still very insufficient, a French start-up, Carbios, intends to use an enzyme capable of deconstructing it, for better reuse then. Explanations from our columnist, Jean-Pierre Montanay

It is a scourge for the planet, but a product used everywhere. In the whole world, plastic objects are legion, and the stop of the production is probably not for immediately. As for recycling, it is far from being efficient enough. But the innovation of a French start-up, Carbios, could well change the situation for the world of tomorrow, explains our columnist, Jean-Pierre Montanay.

"The 'miracle' process relies on enzymes, proteins capable of accelerating chemical reactions millions of times, in which case the enzyme deconstructs the materials that make up polyethylene terephthalate, the so-called plastic called PET. Once decomposed, these materials, separated, scattered in a puzzle way can be purified and again allow to make PET.This is a revolution: it is therefore possible to recycle to infinity plastic waste without sorting beforehand. means that we no longer use oil to produce plastic but plastic waste ... From a recycled bottle, we produce a new bottle with virtually no waste of raw material.

First recycled plastic bottle

And it is a Frenchman to whom we owe this incredible innovation, Claude Lumaret. In 2011, the trigger that will trigger this adventure occurs: a piece of plastic floating on the surface of the Mediterranean. On his boat, this 51-year-old entrepreneur is fuming. He can not stand all this waste that stains the big blue ... Since that day, he seeks the solution, the miracle product to recycle plastic. He then founded Carbios, a start-up based in Puy-de-Dôme with a single idea in mind: to identify the enzyme 'greedy' likely to digest plastic. This boss, who has made his mark in the world of innovation, quickly seduces investors, joins the world of research and goes public. In eight years, Carbios wins the moon by releasing its first recycled bottle.

The industrialists that the 350 million tons of plastic produced every second in the world make nightmarish rush on Carbios: l'Oréal, Michelin, Nestlé ... Next step: the construction in 2021 of an industrial demonstrator in the corridor of chemistry near Lyon. After which the first industrial licenses of this technology could be sold. By 2025, the first 100% recycled plastic bottle should be in supermarkets.