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PEF innovation to replace PET?

The Netherlands – Advanced high-throughput R&D specialist Avantium says it has made a breakthrough with its new material polyethylene furanoate (PEF), claiming the material could very well ‘replace PET in typical applications’ like films, fibres and in particular bottles for the packaging of soft drinks, water and alcoholic beverages. Avantium has entered into joint development agreements with the Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA to develop and commercialise PEF bottles. In addition, fibres from recycled PEF bottles have been processed into 100% bio-based T-shirts.

‘The production of the first bio-based PEF T-shirts produced from recycled bottles adds apparel and sportswear to the many potential outlets of PEF,’ comments Avantium’s ceo Tom van Aken. ‘With its reduced carbon footprint, and improved performance, PEF is truly the sustainable plastic material of the future.’

Pointing out that the jerseys and shorts worn at the football World Cup in South Africa three years ago were made from recycled petroleum-based PET bottles, Van Aken stresses that PEF is the ‘next step’.

The PEF fibre spinning, fabric weaving and dyeing was carried out by the Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University in Germany by means of conventional polyester processing methods.

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