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Published November 13, 2020
Published November 13, 2020

Through an innovative partnership, LanzaTech, Total, and L’Oréal have launched the world’s first sustainable packaging made from captured and recycled carbon emissions, proving that industrial carbon emissions can be used to produce plastic packaging. The commitment of these three partners in the development of a sustainable circular economy for plastics paves the way for new opportunities for the capture and reuse of industrial carbon emissions.

“This partnership is based on a shared goal of creating a cleaner planet for everyone. We are grateful to both L’Oréal and Total for their commitment to reducing the carbon intensity of their activities. Together, we can reduce the carbon footprint of packaging by converting carbon emissions into useful products, making single-use carbon a thing of the past,” said LanzaTech CEO Jennifer Holmgren.

How It Works: The successful conversion process takes place in three steps.

  • LanzaTech captures industrial carbon emissions and converts them into ethanol using a unique biological process.
  • Total, thanks to an innovative dehydration process jointly developed with IFP Axens, converts the ethanol into ethylene before polymerizing it into polyethylene that has the same technical characteristics as its fossil counterpart.
  • L’Oréal uses this polyethylene to produce packaging with the same quality and properties as conventional polyethylene.

“This partnership is an excellent example of collaboration between industrial firms in developing the plastics of the future produced from recycled carbon and meets a strong demand from our customers. The development of this new pathway of valuing industrial carbon emissions also contributes to the Group’s commitment to get to net zero in Europe by 2050,” announced Valérie Goff, Senior Vice President Polymers, Total.

The Partners now intend to continue working together on scaling the production of these sustainable plastics and look forward to working with all those who want to join them in committing to the use of these new sustainable plastics.

LanzaTech is a carbon recycling company that was founded in New Zealand and based in Illinois with locations in China, India, and Europe. It is a global leader in gas fermentation, making sustainable fuels and chemicals via biological conversion of waste carbon emissions, including industrial off-gases; syngas generated from any biomass resource (e.g., municipal solid waste), organic industrial waste, agricultural waste); and reformed biogas. LanzaTech’s expertise in fermentation scale-up, reactor design, machine learning, and synthetic biology has enabled the company to commercialize its recycling process and demonstrate the production of over 100 different chemicals. With global investors and partners, LanzaTech has a pipeline of commercial projects around the world and is working across the supply chain to provide novel circular solutions to mitigate carbon by producing consumer goods that would otherwise come from fresh fossil resources.

Total is a broad energy company that produces and markets fuels, natural gas with a commitment to better energy that is more affordable, more reliable, cleaner, and accessible to as many people as possible. The business is active in more than 130 countries with an ambition to become the responsible energy leader.

Jacques Playe, L’Oréal Packaging & Development Director, said that “L’Oréal is constantly improving the environmental footprint of its packaging. With this innovation converting carbon emissions into polyethylene, we aim to develop new sustainable packaging solution. We have the ambition to use this sustainable material in our bottle of shampoo and conditioner by 2024 and we hope other companies will join us in using this breakthrough innovation.”


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