Posted in | News | Biomaterials | Food and Drink

Turning Organic Trash into Compost

Metabolix Inc. today announced that Telles(TM), its joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Company that produces Mirel(TM) bioplastics, has entered an agreement to supply Mirel resin to Heritage Plastics Inc. for the production of BioTuf(TM) compostable film. Heritage Bag Company, the largest U.S. manufacturer of compostable trash bags, can liners and kitchen compost bags, is working in conjunction with Heritage Plastics to develop a new line of BioTuf Compostable Bags using Mirel.

Frank Ruiz, Research Director of Heritage Plastics and Heritage Bags, said: “The diversion of organic waste from landfills to composting facilities will require hundreds of millions of compostable bags and trash bin liners annually for hauling away discarded food scraps from restaurants, hotels and other large institutions, and this market is growing at over 15% per year.”

Mirel is a family of biobased, sustainable and biodegradable plastics that provides an excellent alternative to traditional, petroleum-based plastics. Mirel will biodegrade in a wide range of environments including soil, home compost, industrial compost, wetlands, rivers and oceans.

“Mirel is a new high performance biobased and biodegradable component of our BioTuf compostable compound technology, resulting in improved toughness and tensile properties yielding higher performance compostable bags,” said Ruiz.

This new line of BioTuf compounds using Mirel bioplastic can be easily processed on conventional industry equipment, producing readily compostable films with excellent puncture and tear resistance.

“The process of turning organic trash into compost will become a significant trend in how the U.S. manages its nearly 230 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste,” said Ruiz. “A key element in managing this process is providing trash bags that meet ASTM standards for compostability, representing a multi-million dollar opportunity for our Mirel-based BioTuf compostable bags in the future.”

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