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Metabolix announces commercialization plans for biodegradable resins

Cambridge, Mass.-based bioscience company Metabolix Inc. has announced that it is teaming up with Decatur, Ill.-bas...


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April 23, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

Cambridge, Mass.-based bioscience company Metabolix Inc. has announced that it is teaming up with Decatur, Ill.-based agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) to jointly produce Mirel Natural Plastics, a family of high performance bio-based and biodegradable plastics.

The two companies plan to commercialize Mirel through their joint venture Telles, which is now building its first commercial scale plant in Clinton, Iowa. The plant is expected to start up in 2008, and will produce Mirel at an annual rate of 110 million pounds.

“We are now commercializing bio-based, renewable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that will reduce our reliance on oil and the impact petroleum use has on climate change,” said Metabolix president and CEO Jim Barber in a statement.

Mirel can be used in conversion processes such as injection molding, paper coating, cast film and sheet, blown film, and thermoforming, and the product harmlessly biodegrades in environments such as soil, compost, rivers, and oceans. Metabolix noted that it is working with more than 50 prospective customers on more than 60 applications, including consumer products, packaging, single-use disposables, and products used in agriculture and erosion control.

More information about Metabolix’s polyhydroxyalkanoate-based (PHA) Natural Plastic products can be found in the April 2007 issue of Canadian Plastics magazine. Please consult your copy for the latest information on biodegradable and bio-based resin alternatives for plastic processors.