Avantium N.V., a leading technology company in renewable chemistry, signed an offtake agreement with AmBev, the Brazilian brewing company, part of the AB InBev Group, the largest beer company in the world. AmBev will purchase PEF (polyethylene furanoate) – a 100% plant based and recyclable alternative to plastic – from Avantium’s Flagship Plant and will use it to make bottles for its soft drinks portfolio.
Avantium is currently constructing the world’s first commercial plant for the production of FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) from plant-based sugars in Delfzijl, The Netherlands. FDCA is the key ingredient for making the plant-based, highly recyclable plastic material PEF, which has superior performance properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based packaging materials. The Dutch company expects to open this FDCA Flagship Plant by the end of 2023, enabling the commercial launch of PEF from 2024 onwards.
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.
“AmBev – Karina Turci, sustainability manager of AmBev, stated – is always looking to make a meaningful impact in the world. And to do so, since 2020, we are committed to eliminate plastic pollution from our packaging in Brazil – by 2025. To accomplish this, AmBev is not only looking into recycling and reducing plastic use, but is also investing in innovative sustainable solutions. Over the past year, AmBev has assessed PEF as a sustainable packaging solution for the soft drinks portfolio and we are impressed with the sustainability and performance characteristics of this innovative material.”
Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, commented: “We are delighted with the successful cooperation with AmBev, making PEF available for the soft drinks portfolio of AmBev in Brazil and Latin America. This opens up a new geography and market for Avantium, accelerating the further adoption and growth of PEF. This partnership is a great example of our common understanding that bold action is the key to lasting positive impact for a sustainable future.”