It has demonstrated that PEF can also be used to make fibers, and even that PEF bottles can be recycled into PEF fibers. These PEF fibers from recycled PEF bottles have been processed into 100% biobased T-shirts.
The PEF fiber spinning and fabric weaving and dyeing was performed by the Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University, using conventional polyester processing technology and equipment. The fiber market is an important recycling outlet for today’s PET packaging, and the results presented today show similar end-of-life solutions that can be applied for PEF. During the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, shorts and jerseys made from recycled petroleum-based PET bottles were introduced by Nike for the national soccer teams of Brazil, Japan, England, the Netherlands and Team USA, saving petroleum based raw materials and reducing energy consumption by an estimated 30%. PEF T-shirts made from 100% biobased and recycled material would be the next step in sustainability, reducing dependence on petroleum and further decreasing the carbon footprint of apparel.
“These first PEF T-shirts are yet another important step in the development and commercialization of PEF as a 100% biobased and recyclable material”, comments Tom van Aken, Avantium CEO. “The production of the first biobased PEF T-shirts produced from recycled bottles, adds apparel and sportswear to the many potential outlets of PEF. With its reduced carbon footprint, and improved performance, PEF is truly the sustainable plastic material of the future.”
Since 2011 Avantium is developing PEF bottles with its partners The Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA. Recently Avantium signed a partnership with Wifag-Polytype for the development of thermoformed PEF containers, drinking cups and trays.
Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY – the brand name for its technology platform. PEF is a novel material commercialized by Avantium. PEF is 100% made from plant derived raw materials and fulfills key criteria to become the next generation biobased polyester for bottles, film and fibers. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Avantium is running an YXY pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands.