The Guardian recently hailed an innovation out of The Netherlands as possibly marking “the end of plastic.” And the biochemical startup Avantium has weathered through COVID-19 slow-downs well, partially because the potential of its plant-based plastic to solve ocean and landfill pollution is so promising.
The Dutch company is partnering with the ‘biggest fish’ in the sea of bottling companies — Coca-Cola. Food company Danone which sells 24.6 billion in food products every year (as Dannon in the U.S.) has also come on board. They two giants have invested in construction of a world-leading bioplastics plant in The Netherlands.
Carlsberg, the 173-year-old multinational brewing company, has already thrown its support behind Avantium’s design of bottles made from plant sugars.
Trials have shown that Avantium’s design is durable enough to contain carbonated drinks. When placed in a composter they will biodegrade over the course of one year, and over three when left in the natural environment.
“This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels, and can be recycled—but would also degrade in nature,” Tom Van Aken tells The Guardian. Van Aken is the CEO of Avantium and plans to announce additional partnerships in support of its project this summer.
The bio-refinery will break down waste from corn, wheat, and beets and create 5,000 metric tons of plant-plastic in the first year.
Products packaged in Avantium’s plant plastics could be on the shelves in 2023, with high expectations of increased market demand to come quite soon after.