NPE 2015: Innovations in Plastic

In March, Metabolix attended, exhibited and presented at NPE 2015: The International Plastics Showcase. This show represented an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase products made with our PHA biopolymers and to share insights and solutions with visitors to our booth.  And, we sure did engage with a lot of visitors at our booth. These interactions with our visitors were very productive for us. From these conversations it’s clear that innovators in the industry are looking closely at how new materials—including biobased ones like PHA—can be incorporated into existing products or can be used to create entirely new products with new functionality and features.

Three highlights from our week at NPE 2015 are worth mentioning.

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Metabolix branded notepad wrapped with a-PHA modified PLA film 

As a giveaway at our booth, we made 3×3 inch Metabolix-branded notepads. The biopolymers team packaged the notepad giveaway in transparent a-PHA modified PLA film. As shown in the photo, our a-PHA modified PLA packaging film closely resembles the film wrap in wide use for packaged goods, but it offers biobased and compostable features. This giveaway was not only a big hit, but visitors to our booth were very curious about the film, and this catalyzed numerous conversations about the use of our PHA biopolymers to modify PLA in film and other applications.

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Metabolix display case at the NPE booth

The samples we displayed provided us with another valuable opportunity to engage with visitors at the booth. The samples covered the breadth of our target applications spaces, and highlighted the use of our PHA biopolymers as performance additives and specialty resins. The samples we displayed included high biocontent compostable bags, fibers, non-wovens, utensils, 3-D filament, a-PHA modified PVC electrical cable jacketing, coated paper, micropowders and biobased/biodegradable agricultural items. The samples provided our visitors with a jumping off point to imagine new products incorporating the features and benefits of our PHA material.

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Film stand  

Plastic waste from single use bags and film used in agriculture continues to be a significant problem worldwide. We continue to believe that the biobased and biodegradable profile of our PHA materials can offer innovative solutions to replicate the performance of conventional materials—but offer biobased content and more sustainable methods for disposal. At NPE we displayed examples of our developmental film grades based on a-PHA modified PLA. We were pleased to have the opportunity to engage with booth visitors and sample films that provide high biocontent (> 95%), high load carrying capability and industrial compostability.

On behalf of the Metabolix team, we would like to thank all the visitors to our booth, customers and members of the media who met with us at NPE. We are truly looking forward to the follow up conversations that will occur over the coming weeks.

For more information on what’s happening at Metabolix, visit the website at www.metabolix.com and follow us through our social media channels on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

 

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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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