Avantium, a renewable chemicals company, and ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, a plastic converters, have announced their Joint Development Agreement for the development of polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottles. After The Coca-Cola Company and Danone, ALPLA is the third company to collaborate with Avantium on PEF, a bioplastic based on Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology. The goal of these collaborations is to bring 100% biobased PEF bottles to the market by 2016.
Brand owners are leading the transition from fossil resources-based packaging materials like polyethylene terephthalate to biobased materials. Biobased materials should be compliant with existing recycling solutions. The YXY technology platform is a cost competitive ground-breaking catalytic technology to convert plant based materials into chemical building blocks for bioplastics, like PEF. PEF has properties superior to PET such as a significantly higher barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water, extending product shelf life and reducing production costs. An independent life-cycle-analysis study by the Copernicus Institute at the University of Utrecht has demonstrated the carbon footprint of PEF is 50-70% lower than today’s PET.
ALPLA will develop PEF bottles for personal care/home care applications, such as cosmetics and detergents, and for food applications such as sauces, dressings, baby foods and edible oils. ALPLA and Avantium will furthermore work on the development of bottles for beer and other alcoholic beverages. Currently, Avantium is supplying its development partners with PEF manufactured from material produced at its Geleen pilot plant. Avantium is currently planning a 50,000 ton commercial plant, which is projected to be operational in 2016 to enable the full commercial launch of the first PEF bottles to consumers.