Renewable chemistry company Avantium N.V. has been granted an interim endorsement by the European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) allowing multilayer PET/PEF packaging to be recycled in the European bottle recycling market.
Avantium is currently constructing the world’s first commercial FDCA factory in the northern part of the Netherlands, which, says the company, will be completed by the end of 2023, enabling the commercial launch of polyethylene furanoate, or PEF, from 2024 onwards. The first piling ceremony was held just 2 weeks ago, on 20 April.
PEF is a 100% plant-based, recyclable, and high-quality polyester with a wide range of applications, including monolayer bottles, multilayer bottles, food & beverage packaging and textiles. In multilayer PET bottles, it can be used as a barrier material to replace other materials such as polyamide, a solution yielding a full polyester product design. Not only does this result in better barrier properties, it also substantially improves the recyclability of such bottles, as has now been shown.
An independent third party (PTI Europe Sarl) assessed the impact of multilayer PET bottles containing 10% PEF on the PET recycling stream in accordance with the EPBP protocol. The results showed that the PET/PEF multilayer bottles have no negative impact on haze and other properties of the resulting rPET products at a market penetration of 5%, also taking potential local accumulation into account. This outcome led EPBP to grant an interim endorsement to Avantium’s PEF resin.