A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels.
The plans, devised by renewable chemicals company Avantium, have already won the support of beer-maker Carlsberg, which hopes to sell its pilsner in a cardboard bottle lined with an inner layer of plant plastic.
Avantium’s chief executive, Tom van Aken, says he hopes to greenlight a major investment in the world-leading bioplastics plant in the Netherlands by the end of the year.
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The project, which remains on track despite the coronavirus lockdown, is set to reveal partnerships with other food and drink companies later in the summer.
The project has the backing of Coca-Cola and Danone, which hope to secure the future of their bottled products by tackling the environmental damage caused by plastic pollution and a reliance on fossil fuels.
The path-finder project will initially make a modest 5,000 tonnes of plastic every year using sugars from corn, wheat or beets.
However, Avantium expects its production to grow as demand for renewable plastics climbs.
In time, Avantium plans to use plant sugars from sustainable sourced biowaste so that the rise of plant plastic does not affect the global food supply chain.