A Convergence of Innovation and Regulation Catalyzes the Development of PHA Biopolymers for use in Personal Care Products

We recently entered into a global, exclusive commercial and technology alliance with Honeywell to offer new marine-degradable biopolymers for use in cosmetics and personal care products.  Through the alliance, Mirel® PHA biopolymers will be developed as part of Honeywell’s Asensa® line of personal care additives. This technology is intended to address regulatory and other requirements emerging in the U.S. and around the world for personal care microbead biodegradation. Continue reading

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Metabolix to Head to Orlando for NPE: Will Showcase a Broad Range of Applications for Mirel® PHA Biopolymers

The Metabolix biopolymers team is gearing up for NPE2015: The International Plastics Showcase which will be held March 23-27 in Orlando, FL. This show is arguably the most important plastics tradeshow occurring this year. SPI, the sponsor of NPE, expects more than 2,000 leading suppliers and 60,000 business professionals from more than 100 countries to convene at the meeting to showcase and discuss the latest technology, products, trends, and equipment for every phase of plastics processing. Continue reading

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A Bountiful Harvest of Crop Science Publications

Metabolix produces a range of PHA bioplastic products for its commercial customers using a proprietary industrial fermentation and biopolymer recovery process. The fermentation process is driven by microbes specifically engineered by Metabolix to produce PHAs with certain technical characteristics. The scientific advances in metabolic pathway engineering developed by Metabolix researchers over the last 15 years to engineer production microbes provided the foundation to apply this advanced metabolic engineering expertise to plants. Continue reading

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ADDCOM 2014: New Data Highlights Our Mirel® PHA as a Unique Performance Modifier for PLA

In October, we had the opportunity to present new data on our PHA copolymer performance additives at two influential conferences. Senior Science Fellow Allen Padwa presented new data at the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Vinyltec 2014 conference highlighting the use of our Mirel® PHA as a performance plasticizer for PVC. For a link to an article, go to the blog here. At the same time, Mike Andrews, our Director of Extrusion Applications, traveled to Barcelona to present new data on our Mirel PHA as a performance modifier for PLA at ADDCOM 2014. For a link to the ADDCOM slide deck, visit the Metabolix publications page here.

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Vinyltec2014: Presentation of PHA Data Compared to Industry Benchmarks in PVC

Metabolix Senior Science Fellow Allen Padwa presented new data for our Mirel® PHA performance additives in PVC at the Society of Plastics Engineers’ Vinyltec 2014 conference held October 20-22 in Indianapolis. Allen’s presentation took place at 1:20 pm Wednesday, October 22.   Continue reading

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Challenges and Solutions to Plastics Pollution in the Ocean

Captain Charlie Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research and Education Institute, recently published an Op-Ed article in the New York Times on plastics pollution in the ocean. Kudos to Captain Moore for increasing visibility around this important issue. Continue reading

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Renewable PLA Fibers for Single-use Products

Biobased PHA Additives Improve Touch and Feel of PLA

We’ve written before about the improvements that Metabolix additives are able to bring to polylactic acid (PLA). One area of focus for our team has been to improve the performance of PLA fibers. Our additive strategy in PLA rests on a demonstrated capability to improve the performance (for example, the “hand” in the case of fibers), and providing value by helping companies to grow their renewable filament, fabric, and nonwoven offerings. The Metabolix advantage comes from doing so cost effectively and without compromising the renewable and compostable nature of the product. Continue reading

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Illinois first to enact law to ban microbeads from personal care products

Momentum is building; Uniform definition of marine degradable alternatives needed

In a post earlier this year, we documented many of the post-consumer problems with microbeads, those tiny synthetic plastic particles that are commonly used as an ingredient in personal care products but mostly go unseen because they’re so small. These particles are practically impossible to recycle and are generally washed down the drain after use, yet not easily recoverable in water treatment systems. They are typically made from non-biodegradable synthetic plastics that will linger as pollution when ending up in the environment. They often float in water, collecting in lakes, rivers and oceans, and potentially endangering marine life that can mistake them for food where they can then enter the food chain. Continue reading

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Improving Performance and Versatility of PLA with PHA Additives

Metabolix has developed new proprietary polyhydroxalkanoate (PHA) copolymer technology that extends the range of MirelTM PHAs, allowing us to serve exciting new opportunities.

Metabolix strategy focuses on demonstrating the performance and value that Mirel PHA polymers can bring to target applications. This performance is often characterized by the physical properties of the polymer such as crystallinity and rheology, and by the property enhancements that the PHA can bring to other materials. Continue reading

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Working towards a truly degradable coffee cup: Metabolix PHA latex for paper coating

Every morning, millions of people stop into their coffee shop of choice and walk out with a much needed cup of coffee. At that time of the day, what we care most about is the contents of the cup, and probably don’t give much thought to what the cup is made of, beyond “paper.” After finishing that hot cup of coffee, if you were to take a moment to consider the cup, you might notice that the inside surface has a slight shimmer to it, the shimmer of a plastic or latex coating layer. Continue reading

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