Rising concern about plastic pollution has created an uplift regarding the transition towards the usage of eco-friendly packaging products. According to Insights and Reports, more than 165 million tons of plastics are used in the packaging industry and a relatively small amount is recycled. Further, increasing population has given rise to consumption of bottled water as well. 2016 witnessed a sale of approximately 500 million plastic bottles, which consequently has given rise to plastic pollution as well. Further, worldwide bottled water consumption amounted to 400 billion liters in 2017. These factors have urged the manufacturers to shift to sustainable packaging solutions, which in turn is paving the way for polyethyelene furanoate (PEF) as a suitable packaging material.
Polyethylene Furanoate (PEF) comprises of 70% biologically extracted furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) and 30% biobased monoethylene glycol, which makes increases its biodegradability and poses lesser impact on the environment, therefore being a sustainable alternative for packaging solutions in the coming years. Fibers are expected to lead the market throughout the forecast period. However, the availability of bio-based PET is one of the major factors resulting in market slowdown.
Asia Pacific is expected to retain its position as the market leader throughout the forecast period, exhibiting a double digit growth during the forecast period from 2017-2025. According to Insights and Reports, China dominated the bottled water industry in 2016, generating retail sales of an excess of US$ 17.1 billion in the same year. Further, the country imported bottled water worth more than US$ 400 million in 2016. Rising tourism industry in the country has given rise to the consumption of bottled water, which in turn has resulted in higher incidences of pollution as well. These factors are expected to pave the way for polyethylene furanoate (PEF) in the coming years.
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Companies such as Groupe Danone S.A., The Coca Cola Company, ALPLA-Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG have entered into a joint venture with Avantium Technologies B.V. to augment the development and commercialization of PEF for applications such as fibers, films and bottles. Avantium launched a technology called YXY which possess the ability to transform carbohydrates into various bio-based fuels and products, and this technology also manufactures 100% recyclable and bio-based PEF.
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