The partners, L’Oréal, Total and LanzaTech, are looking to prove that carbon emissions can be used to produce plastic packaging


By 2030, L’Oréal is looking to make 100% of its plastics packaging either from recycled or bio-based sources (Credit: Shutterstock/JPstock)

Cosmetics firm L’Oréal, carbon capture company LanzaTech and petroleum business Total have begun to develop plastic cosmetics bottles from industrial carbon emissions.

Described as a world-first, the sustainable packaging is made from captured and recycled carbon emissions.

The conversion process takes place in three steps, the first of which sees LanzaTech capture industrial carbon emissions, converting them into ethanol using a unique biological process.

Once this takes place, Total – through its innovative dehydration process jointly developed with IFP Axens – converts the ethanol into ethylene before polymerising it into polyethylene that has the same technical characteristics as its fossil counterpart.

Finally, L’Oréal uses this polyethylene to produce packaging with the same properties as conventional polyethylene.

 L’Oréal packaging and development director Jacques Playe said: “L’Oréal is constantly improving the environmental footprint of its packaging.

“With this innovation converting carbon emissions into polyethylene, we aim to develop a 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.”


L’Oréal, LanzaTech and Total looking to scale production of sustainable plastics

The technological and industrial partnership has been designed to prove that industrial carbon emissions can be used to produce plastic packaging.

L’Oréal, LanzaTech and Total say the announcement demonstrates a commitment to the development of a sustainable circular economy for plastics, paving the way for new opportunities for the capture and re-use of industrial carbon emissions.

The partners now intend to continue working together on scaling the production of these sustainable plastics, and are looking to work with all those who want to join them in committing to the use of these new sustainable plastics.

LanzaTech’s CEO Jennifer Holmgren said: “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.”

Total’s senior vice-president of polymers Valérie Goff added: “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.”