Origin Materials, the world’s leading carbon negative materials company, and Packaging Matters, a packaging innovation leader, announced an agreement to develop advanced packaging solutions, including a next-generation polymer, polyethylene furanoate (“PEF”). Packaging Matters had previously entered into a supply agreement to purchase sustainable carbon-negative PET from Origin Materials to create next-generation packaging.
The partnership represents a potential breakthrough in the commercialization of PEF, a polymer with an attractive combination of performance characteristics for packaging, including enhanced barrier properties, degradability, and other qualities. Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to produce sustainable carbon-negative FDCA, the precursor to PEF, cost-competitively, and the partnership aims to enable Packaging Matters to be first-mover to bring the novel product to its customers. Furthermore, this development work for PEF is intended to facilitate the creation of additional novel polymers with performance characteristics that meet the needs of consumers and Packaging Matters’ customers, while delivering new types of packaging for today’s decarbonizing economy.
Many of today’s clothing, carpets, automotive parts, and other products are made from chemicals and plastics derived from petroleum. During petroleum extraction and processing, greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change. Origin Materials’ technology platform, which is based on sustainable wood residues, can supply molecularly identical replacements for many of these materials normally sourced from petroleum, but with the expected effect of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere rather than adding more.
In the initial phase of the partnership, Origin Materials will supply sustainable carbon-negative PET to Packaging Matters. As the companies make progress on developing suitable PEF applications, some or potentially all of the supply will transition to sustainable PEF with an expected carbon-negative footprint.
Origin Materials’ sustainable carbon-negative PET is physically and chemically identical to petroleum-based PET, making it equally recyclable within the existing recycling infrastructure with no disruption to recycling streams or special sorting or collection requirements. Packaging Matters intends to use the sustainable carbon-negative PET from Origin Materials in its facility in Visalia, CA to manufacture packaging products for its fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads customers.
Origin Materials believes its technology platform, which turns inexpensive, sustainable wood residues into carbon-negative materials, will help revolutionize the production of a wide range of end products, including clothing, textiles, plastics, packaging, car parts, tires, carpeting, toys, and more with a ~$1 trillion addressable market.
In addition, Origin Materials’ technology platform is expected to provide stable pricing largely de-coupled from the petroleum supply chain, which is exposed to more volatility than supply chains based on sustainable wood residues.
“Origin Materials’ mission is to provide carbon-negative material solutions in a world-fast transitioning to net zero carbon,” says Origin Materials co-CEO Rich Riley. “Partnering with Packaging Matters is a natural fit because by creating better-performing, carbon-negative packaging solutions together, we aim to deliver what the most innovative companies in the world are demanding and to show the packaging industry the path to a low-carbon future.”
“Packaging Matters is a leader in packaging innovation with over 70 years of experience,” says Chuck Buff, founder and CEO of Packaging Matters. “By partnering with Origin Materials and purchasing sustainable carbon-negative PET, we are one step closer to achieving our goal of delivering a carbon neutral packaging solution that drops in seamlessly to the existing recycling infrastructure. Packaging Matters has been a pioneer in its use of recycled PET and remains committed to including post-consumer content in its packaging. Yet even with high recycled content, the resin itself represents more than half of the carbon emissions associated with our products. Origin Materials can help solve this problem. By replacing petroleum-based PET with Origin Materials’ sustainable carbon-negative PET and PEF, we aim to create new, better-performing products, with competitive and more stable pricing. And at the same time, we are dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of the products our customers purchase. We are thrilled to be working with Origin Materials to create the future of packaging.”