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Avantium and ALPLA join forces to develop biobased PEF bottles

Renewable chemicals company Avantium and plastics manufacturer in Austria ALPLA have announced their joint development agreement for the development of 100% biobased and recyclable polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottles.

According to the Netherlands-based Avantium, PEF is a bioplastic based on the company’s YXY technology and the partnership aims to bring 100% biobased PEF bottles to the market by 2016.

The catalytic YXY technology will help to convert plant based materials into chemical building blocks for bioplastics such as PEF.

ALPLA CEO Günther Lehner said the company introduced a two step PET bottle in the 1980s.

"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," Lehner said.

ALPLA will accelerate the commercial roll out and industrialization of PEF. Together the companies can make the product available for packaging in new markets and traditional applications.

The companies have taken up the challenge to develop the supply chain for PEF as sustainable biobased packaging material to the beer and alcoholic beverage markets.

PEF polyester is said to have the potential to replace conventional fossil resources based durable materials such as PET. It exhibits properties that are superior to PET such as higher barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water.

The new PEF bottles will be initially developed for personal care/ home care applications such as cosmetics and detergents and for food applications such as sauces, dressings, baby foods and edible oils.

Gradually, the bottles will be developed for beer and other alcoholic beverages.