Metabolix and ADM introduce biodegradable plastic

by Staff
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CAMBRIDGE, MASS. — Metabolix Inc. and ADM are going to begin producing Mirel Natural Plastics — natural plastics that are biobased, sustainable and biodegradable.

Mirel is produced from renewable resources such as corn sugar, providing an alternative to traditional, oil-based plastics. Mirel is biodegradable in many environments including soil, compost, rivers and oceans.

"We are now commercializing biobased, renewable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that will reduce our reliance on oil and the impact petroleum has on climate change," said Jim Barber, president and chief executive officer of Metabolix.

The companies will commercialize Mirel through a joint venture — Telles. Telles is currently building its first commercial-scale plant in Clinton, Iowa. The plant will begin operations in 2008 and produce 110 million lbs of Mirel annually.

Telles anticipates its customers will market natural plastic products co-branded with the Mirel name and logo.

"We are optimistic that Mirel’s name and distinguishable heat-shaped leaf will become the trusted mark consumers look for in environmentally-responsible plastics," Mr. Barber said.

Mirel may be used as an alternative plastic in many conversion processes, which includes injection molding, paper coating, cast film and sheet, blown film and thermoforming. Metabolix is working with more than 40 perspective customers on more than 60 applications.

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