The potential to endlessly recycle PET plastic recently became a step closer to reality, as a consortium of companies dedicated to the cause — Carbios, L’Oréal, Nestlé Waters, PepsiCo and Suntory Beverage & Food Europe — announced the successful production of the world’s first food-grade PET plastic bottles produced entirely from enzymatically recycled plastic.

Each participating company has successfully manufactured sample bottles — based on Carbios’ enzymatic PET recycling technology — for leading products including Biotherm, Perrier, Pepsi Max (aka Pepsi Black and Pepsi Zero Sugar in some markets) and Orangina.

The breakthrough is the culmination of nearly 10 years’ research and development by Carbios — a French company pioneering bio-industrial solutions to reinvent the lifecycle of plastic and textile polymers — which developed a process to supercharge an enzyme naturally occurring in compost heaps that normally breaks down leaf membranes of dead plants. By adapting this enzyme, Carbios has fine-tuned the technology and optimized it to break down any kind of PET plastic (regardless of color or complexity) into its building blocks, which can then be turned back into like-new, virgin-quality plastic.

Click here to read the full article