Renewable chemistry technology business Avantium reports that it has struck a conditional offtake agreement with one of the largest manufacturers of luxury goods, LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy).
Through this offtake deal, LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics Houses has obtained a predetermined amount of the high-quality, plant-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF) material from Avantium’s Flagship Plant for the packaging of its cosmetics.
Avantium is currently building its FDCA (furane dicarboxylic acid) flagship plant: the first commercial plant for the production of FDCA from plant-based sugars. The company anticipates that it will begin operating in 2024, enabling the commercial introduction of PEF.
A PEFerence for circular plastics
Innova Market Insights found that less than 30% of global consumers are willing to compromise product convenience and handling to reduce the amount of plastic used in packaging.
In line with this, LVMH opting for PEF may prove to be beneficial, since the material outperforms traditional packaging materials while also replacing harmful conventional petroleum-based plastic.
PEF, the sustainable and circular plastic material, is primarily made of FDCA and is entirely plant-based and recyclable.
It offers better barrier qualities, which extends the shelf life of the product, and it also has stronger mechanical strength, which enables thinner packaging and decreases the amount of material needed.
The research division of LVMH joined the Avantium-led PEFerence consortium earlier this year in order to collaborate with other top companies and value chain partners to speed up the commercialization of PEF.
Bracing for the brands
The potential of Avantium’s PEF as a sustainable packaging option for LVMH beauty products, such as Parfums Christian Dior, Givenchy Parfums and Guerlain, has been thoroughly examined over the course of the past year by LVMH and Avantium.
With this agreement, LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics Houses has become the first luxury cosmetics company to execute an offtake arrangement as a result of the positive test findings, further enabling the commercial entry of PEF into the cosmetics market.
“As part of our social and environmental strategy “LIFE 360” (LVMH Initiative for the Environment), LVMH Beauty is always looking for sustainable materials with superior performance for our luxury products,” says Claude Martinez, executive president and managing director of the Beauty Division at LVMH.
He continues to say that the environmental and performance features of PEF are unique and meet the company’s sustainable packaging goals without any compromise on quality.
Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, commented that the company will support LVMH’s sustainability strategy “LIFE 360” and the LVMH’s target of zero plastic from virgin fossil feedstock while delivering a high-quality, innovative packaging material.
LVMH green endeavors
LVMH’s efforts toward its LIFE 360 environmental sustainability strategy can be seen across many of the company’s corporate packaging decisions. Earlier this year LVMH Beauty signed a multi-year capacity reservation agreement with material provider Origin Materials to purchase carbon-negative PET for fragrance and cosmetics packaging.
Mickael Soria, head of press relations at LVMH, told PersonalCareInsights that “this partnership reinforces the eco-design strategy of our products and will allow our houses to reinforce the objectives they have set themselves concerning the progressive elimination of virgin plastics of fossil origin.”
By Mieke Meintjes
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