Winners of the innovation award “Renewable Material of the Year 2021” A chair made from hemp fibres and bio-resin, PET bottles made from enzymatically recycled textile waste and CO2-based household cleaners

The new concept of the Renewable Materials Conference generated an outstanding response: 420 participants witnessed a firework of innovations of non-fossil material solutions and voted for the winners of the innovation award

For the first time, the nova-Institute presented highlights and innovations from bio- and CO2-based chemicals and materials as well as from chemical recycling. Or in other words: all material solutions based on renewable carbon. They have the potential to replace petrochemicals by 2050. All additional fossil carbon from the ground must be substituted to tackle climate change at its roots. The three winners are from the Netherlands (Plantics & Vepa), France (Carbios) and the USA/Switzerland (LanzaTech). They perfectly cover the three renewable carbon options: bio-based (hemp fibre and bio-resin), recycling (enzymatic recycling of PET) and CO2 utilisation (household cleaners). All three winners can be seen on the award collage.

The three-day Renewable Materials Conference (18 – 20 May, online) attracted 420 visitors, thus exceeded all expectations. The unique combination of topics created a completely new platform for presenting solutions to representatives from other industries and for building new networks. And this opportunity was used extensively – thanks to the advanced online conference system: 60 speakers, 11 panel discussions, 500 public posts and 1,500 networking activities proved the lively exchange during the three conference days.

Extensive information can be found on the website and in the conference journal available at

The conference advisory board selected six companies from 36 innovative and excellent submissions – all 36 are listed individually in the conference journal – to showcase their technologies and applications to the audience. All the products presented are already available on the market or will be launched soon. The three winners were selected by the participants on the second day of the conference. The innovation award was sponsored by Covestro (Germany) and awarded jointly with the nova-Institute (Germany).

Second place: Carbios (France): First Clear Plastic Bottles from Enzymatically Recycled Textile Waste

Carbios is the first and only company that develops biological processes to revolutionise the end-of-life of plastics and textiles. The mission is to provide an industrial solution to the recycling of PET plastics and textiles. This enzymatic recycling technology deconstructs any type of PET plastic waste into its basic components (monomers) which can then be reused to produce new PET plastics of virgin quality. In 2020, the first transparent plastic bottle from enzymatically recycled polyester textile waste was produced. Mechanical recycling technologies cannot recycle textile waste efficiently. In contrast, this new enzymatic process enables polyester fibres to be “upcycled” to a high-quality grade of PET suitable for the production of clear bottles.
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