Enzymes devouring plastics: Carbios claims to be more advanced than the Anglo-Saxons

French green chemistry company Carbios ruled Thursday that its technology for degrading plastics by enzymes was superior to that just unveiled by US and British scientists.

"The use of enzymes for degradation plastics is not a novelty, the French biotech Carbios is already developing this technology with performance well above those announced by these researchers, "said the company in a statement.

Carbios, based in Clermont-Ferrand, believes that its technology can degrade 97% PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), one of the most used plastics, especially for bottles, in 24 hours.

Scientists at the British University of Portsmouth and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the US Department of Energy announced two days ago that a mutation of an enzyme, allowing a bacterium already known to Feeding PET made it even more effective.

Scientists noted that this discovery opened a new avenue for the destruction of plastics that clogged the environment.

Carbios believes it is much more advanced in industrialization of its process, since the group intends to "initiate the industrial demonstration phase" of its process "from 2019". Carbios then plans to set up a 10,000-ton unit, which will produce the first volumes of virgin PET from (its) technology by mid-2021.

Office, trade, canteen … The tri is hard to impose

Offices, businesses, communities, medical offices … For two years, many companies and administrations have to sort their waste for recycling. But at a time when the government wants to develop the circular economy, the law is barely enforced.

With six bins of different colors carefully aligned in the common kitchen, the engineering company Sinteo, based in Paris, has skipped it. His sixty employees separate paper, cans, plastic bottles, pens, corks, batteries, light bulbs, glass and even coffee grounds.

"This is the paradise of sorting", jokes one of them she, Laure, "happy" with this measure. This "proves that the company is engaged," she says, ensuring that employees play the game even if the sorting is sometimes approximate.

Since March 2016, a large number of companies and administrations must separate the papers , cartons, glasses, metals, plastics and wood from the rest of their bins. In detail, all those whose waste is collected by a private provider are concerned, as well as those whose garbage is collected by the community and generating more than 1,100 liters / week, the average production of about fifty people.

And since the beginning of 2018, any entity with more than 20 office workers has had to sort the paper.

But businesses and communities are outlawed. "On small companies (…), there are difficulties of implementation. (…) All have not made the necessary investments to satisfy the obligation of the sorting five flows", we recognize at Department of Ecological Transition

To practice sorting entails an additional cost and a greater logistics for companies, especially the most modest ones. From a certain volume, sorting "can be a source of income" because the collector pays for the harvested material, explains Mathieu Petithuguenin, managing director of recycling group Paprec.

But "the constraint not being very strong, without an inspector on the ground to check if it's set up, people do not feel the knife under the throat, "he says.

– 'Limit waste' –

"We must already set up a follow-up," says Muriel Olivier, vice-president of the National Federation of Environmental Remediation and Protection Companies (Fnade). Today, no one knows exactly how many companies and administrations are affected by the law and how it is applied.

The dustbins of professionals are nevertheless an important source for recycling. According to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), 20 million tonnes of their waste, out of nearly 64 million (excluding construction and agriculture) now incinerated or fled, could be easily sorted

The exact nature of this waste, which is not recycled, is not known. But paper is a big chunk, since every office worker consumes between 70 to 85 kg of paper a year, or three reams a month.

Food waste is another avenue of choice for the recovery of residues. The Ademe figures food waste at 21 kilos per person per year. Since 2016, establishments throwing more than 10 tonnes of bio-waste a year – a volume reached for example in a restaurant providing 150 meals per day – must harvest separately the food that remains on the plates.

Not everyone Still, things are moving, says Jerome Perrin, president of the company Love your waste, which collects bio-waste in restaurants, school canteens or even brewers in the Paris region. The start-up then draws city gas via anaerobic digestion. "There is a strong tendency to be less wasteful," he says.

This trend is expected to accelerate as by 2025, the amount of landfill waste will need to be halved compared to 2010 and Government plans sorting bio-waste for everyone, including individuals.

"By limiting the burial, the State will increase it" and make the recycling economically more interesting, hopes the director of the Regional Observatory waste Ile-de-France (Ordif), Helder de Oliveira.

In Australia, "catastrophic" hecatomb of corals in the Great Barrier

Australia's Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage gem of humanity, suffered a "catastrophic" hecatomb of its corals during a heated heat wave in 2016, threatening a greater diversity of marine life than hitherto estimated , warns study Thursday.

About 30% of the corals of the vast ensemble died during the heat wave between March and November 2016, the first episode of two consecutive years of bleaching.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, the reef extends over approximately 348,000 square kilometers along the Australian coast and is the largest coral reef in the world.

Based on published survey by the scientific journal Nature, coral, which is home to other marine creatures, has been hard hit by rising water temperatures as a result of global warming.

Terry Hugues, co-author of study and director of the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University told AFP that the most endangered species are branch corals such as coral reefs that provide hiding places for juvenile fish

The corals most likely to hold the shock are smooth, melon-shaped, the researcher continued. These corals do not have too much trouble building their skeleton but "they are not very useful for habitat," adds Hugues.

During the bleaching of 2016, corals from the northern part of the Great barrier suffered a wave of "catastrophic deaths," the study continues.

"This coral dieback has caused radical changes in species diversity in hundreds of individual reefs, where mature and diverse reef communities are turning into more degraded systems, where only a few enduring species survive," writes Andrew Baird, other scientist

Bleaching is a phenomenon of withering which results in a discoloration of corals. Under the pressure of factors such as warming, stressed corals expel the algae with which they have a symbiotic relationship, and give them color and energy.

The study calls for the protection of surviving corals, estimated at about one billion .

"These are the ones who will recharge and re-inhabit altered reefs," says Hugues, adding that water quality needs to be improved by reducing coastal pollution.

to limit global warming as in the Paris agreement are also crucial.

"We had four bleaching episodes (1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017) on the Great Barrier with an overall temperature rise of 1 ° C," says Hugues. "If we continue with our emissions as if nothing had happened, I do not think the Barrier will survive it."

Reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean surface but are home to 30% of animal species and marine plants, protecting them from predators and serving as their pantry. They contribute to coastal protection, human nutrition, and tourism.

"Castastrophic" hecatomb of corals in the Great Barrier (study)

Australia's Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage gem of humanity, suffered a "catastrophic" hecatomb of its corals during a heated heat wave in 2016, threatening a greater diversity of marine life than hitherto estimated , warns study Thursday.

About 30% of the corals of the vast ensemble died during the heat wave between March and November 2016, the first episode of two consecutive years of bleaching.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, the reef extends over approximately 348,000 square kilometers along the Australian coast and is the largest coral reef in the world.

Based on published survey by the scientific journal Nature, coral, which is home to other marine creatures, has been hard hit by the rise in water temperatures following global warming.

 The Great Barrier Reef (AFP - dmk / ahu, A. Leung / J. Saeki)

The Great Barrier Reef (AFP – dmk / ahu, A. Leung / J. Saeki)

Terry Hughes, co-author of the study and director of the Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, told AFP that the most endangered species are branch corals such as coral reefs that provide hiding places for juvenile fish.

The corals most likely to hold the shock are smooth, melon-shaped, pursued the researcher. These corals do not have too much trouble building their skeleton but "they are not very useful for habitat," adds Hugues.

During the bleaching of 2016, corals from the northern part of the Great barrier suffered a wave of "catastrophic deaths," the study continues.

"This coral dieback has caused radical changes in species diversity in hundreds of individual reefs, where mature and diverse reef communities are turning into more degraded systems, where only a few enduring species survive," writes Andrew Baird, other scientist

Bleaching is a phenomenon of withering which results in a discoloration of corals. Under the pressure of factors such as warming, stressed corals expel the algae with which they have a symbiotic relationship, and give them color and energy.

The study calls for the protection of surviving corals, estimated at about one billion .

"These are the ones who will recharge and re-inhabit altered reefs," says Hugues, adding that water quality needs to be improved by reducing coastal pollution.

to limit global warming as in the Paris agreement are also crucial.

"We had four bleaching episodes (1998, 2002, 2016 and 2017) on the Great Barrier with an overall temperature rise of 1 ° C," says Hugues. "If we continue with our emissions as if nothing had happened, I do not think the Barrier will survive it."

Reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean surface but are home to 30% of animal species and marine plants, protecting them from predators and serving as their pantry. They contribute to coastal protection, human nutrition, and tourism.

Total takes control of more than 74% of Direct Energie

RECONCILIATION. The French oil and gas group Total made the announcement this Wednesday, April 18, 2018. In a statement posted on its website the company announced the signing of an agreement with the principal shareholders of the alternative electricity supplier Direct Energie for a proposed acquisition of 74.33% of its capital. All for an amount of 1.4 billion euros, said the group. " By this operation, Total is actively pursuing its development in the generation and distribution of electricity and gas in France and Belgium, and this project is part of the Integration Group's strategy. on the entire value chain of gas – electricity and development of low carbon energy, in line with our ambition to become the major of responsible energy ", said in the statement Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO General de Total

Objective: 6 million customers in France

This merger will allow Total to continue its development program in terms of electricity supply in France and Belgium. It will thus be able to represent an alternative to EDF – which still retains a market share of around 85.5% – and to Engie by combining its portfolio of 1.5 million with that of 2.6 million. Direct Energie, currently number 3 in France on this market. Objective: target more than 6 million customers in France and more than 1 million customers in Belgium by 2022, the statement said. At the end of 2017, Engie had a base of 3.8 million customers in France for its electricity supply.

The latter details that the installed capacity of Direct Energie is 1.35 GW, including 800 MW gas plant and 550 MW of renewable electricity. These capacities therefore complement the installed capacity of 900 MW of the Total group. A 900 MW reactor produces an average of 500,000 MWh each month, which corresponds to the consumption of about 400,000 households, EDF figure . Total has set itself the goal of having a total capacity of at least 10 GW over a five-year period, either in the form of a gas-fired plant or in the form of renewable electricity capacity.

"We We welcome this transaction with pride and enthusiasm, and are convinced that this merger with the Total group will be for the benefit of our customers ", Xavier Caïtucoli, CEO of Direct Energie.

Meeting on April 17, the Board of Directors of Direct Energie declared itself unanimously in favor of this project.

With AFP and Reuters