Renewable chemistry company Avantium N.V. has signed a conditional offtake agreement with Carlsberg Group, one of the leading brewery groups in the world, with a large portfolio of beer and other beverage brands. Under the agreement, Carlsberg secures a fixed volume of the 100% plant-based, recyclable and high-performance polymer polyethylene furanoate from the new FDCA flagship plant which Avantium aims to start up in 2024. Carlsberg will use the PEF resin for various packaging applications, including its bio-based and fully recyclable beer bottle dubbed the Fibre Bottle
Carlsberg has also launched a trial of its latest Fibre Bottle, which contains an inner layer of PEF produced by Avantium’s current pilot plant. The brewery group will sample the Fibre Bottle to 8,000 consumers and other selected stakeholders in eight pilot markets in Western Europe. The bottles will be introduced to local consumers, customers and other stakeholders at selected festivals and flagship events, as well as targeted product sampling. Gathering consumer feedback at this scale will be key to informing the next generation of design and accelerating Carlsberg’s ambition to make the new bottle a commercial reality.
As Stephane Munch, VP Group Development at Carlsberg noted, the pilot will serve a greater purpose in testing the production, performance, and recycling of this product at scale.” Identifying and producing PEF, as a competent functional barrier for beer, has been one of our greatest challenges - so getting good test results, collaborating with suppliers and seeing the bottles being filled on the line is a great achievement!”
Avantium and Carlsberg partnered for the first time in 2019, when they collaborated with Paboco (Paper Bottle Company) and the Paper Bottle Community and are now working with Paboco on the development of the Fibre Bottle. The bottle today consists of a wood fibre outer shell and a plant-based and recyclable PEF bio-polyester liner. PEF has barrier properties superior to, for example, PET, which protec the taste and fizziness of the beer, providing a longer shelf life. PEF also has higher mechanical strength than conventional plastics, enabling thinner packaging and thereby reducing the amount of material required. The successful test results of PEF in the Fibre Bottle proved successful, prompting Carlsberg’s decision to sign the present conditional offtake agreement.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Carlsberg, said Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium. “With business partners such as Carlsberg Group, Avantium can further scale and build the PEF value chain, meeting the growing global demand for circular and renewable material solutions. This is what the material transition is about: ensuring that consumers can get access to novel and sustainable products at scale.”