Avantium, a renewable chemicals company, and ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, one of the world's leading plastic converters, have announced their Joint Development Agreement for the development of PEF bottles. After The Coca-Cola Co. 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 percent biobased PEF bottles to the market by 2016.
"Avantium is very excited to have ALPLA enter the Joint Development Platform for PEF bottles," says Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. "With ALPLA's extensive and proven know-how in PET conversion, bottle design and bottle manufacturing, ALPLA will be a major contributor to accelerate the commercial rollout and industrialization of PEF. Jointly we can make PEF available for packaging in innovative markets and traditional applications. Together we have taken up the challenge to develop the supply chain for PEF as sustainable biobased packaging material to the beer and alcoholic beverage markets. As one of the world's most innovative converters, ALPLA will be a key enabler to develop PEF bottles meeting the technical requirements for the market."
Günther Lehner, ALPLA CEO comments: "By signing this agreement, ALPLA once again demonstrates its leadership in innovation in this industry. In the 1980's ALPLA was the first to introduce the two-step PET bottle which started the transition from PVC to PET. Today, we are able to take innovation a step further and introduce our customers in the food, home care and personal care area to the next generation of biobased polyester: PEF. Sustainability is a key driver for growth for ALPLA and its customers. We are therefore pleased to collaborate with Avantium to bring the first 100 percent biobased and recyclable PEF bottles to the market."
Brand owners are leading the transition from fossil resources based packaging materials like PET (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 (polyethylene furanoate). PEF is a novel generation of 100 percent biobased and recyclable polyester which has the potential to replace conventional fossil resources based durable materials like PET. 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 about 50 to 70 percent 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. Today Avantium is supplying its development partners with PEF made 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.