Avantium and AmBev, part of AB InBev Group, have inked an agreement on PEF for soft drink bottles.
The contract is a milestone for industrial biotechnology. Under the agreement, the Brazilian subsidy of the largest beer company in the world will purchase the enzymatically produced and fully recyclable bioplastic polyethylene furanoate (PEF) from Avantium’s Flagship Plant and will use it to make bottles for its soft drinks portfolio.
Avantium is set to start production of furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA at the world’s first commercial plant for FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) manufacture from plant-based sugars in Delfzijl, The Netherlands, by 2023. FDCA is the key ingredient for making PEF, which has superior performance properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based packaging material PET.
Over the past year, AmBev and Avantium have worked closely together to develop multilayer bottles for AmBev soft drinks, where PEF is used as a 100% plant-based and recyclable high-barrier liner in PET bottles. In addition to the sustainability benefits, PEF also has excellent functional advantages, such as outstanding barrier properties. PEF’s oxygen barrier is ten times better than PET, and its CO2 barrier is sixteen times better. This not only leads to a longer shelf life, but also maximises the taste and fizziness of the soft drink.