Metabolix, Inc. announced that Mirel™ bioplastic resins produced by Telles™, its joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland Company, have received the European conformity certification of "OK Biodegradable Soil" for natural soil biodegradability and "OK Biodegradable Water" for fresh water biodegradability from Vinçotte.
Belgium-based Vinçotte is the recognized European authority on materials inspection, certification, assessments and technical training. The Vinçotte label communicates a cradle to grave concept that is highly desirable for brand owners and OEMs wishing to reduce environmental impact by specifying materials that integrate biodegradability with disposal methods or infrastructure. The OK Biodegradable Soil mark verifies that certified materials will biodegrade in a natural soil environment. The OK Biodegradable Water mark verifies that certified materials will biodegrade in a natural fresh water environment such as rivers, lakes or any natural fresh water.
"These certifications validate the environmental value proposition of Mirel bioplastics in applications where end of life, intentionally or unintentionally, is in soil or marine environments," said Bob Findlen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Telles. "Gaining Vinçotte certification for soil and water biodegradation reinforces our decision to target agricultural, horticultural and marine markets that require an end of life scenario where direct contact with a natural environment provides biodegradability. This is a significant milestone for the marketing of Mirel into these significant global markets."
Global regulations are becoming increasingly strict about the use and marketing of recyclable or biodegradable materials and products. As consumers grow more environmentally conscious, they are also becoming more aware of "green" labeling on the products they buy. Vinçotte's certification is aimed at helping consumers to identify, via a labeling system, products that will biodegrade in soil and fresh water.
"Telles is the first manufacturer of high performance resins in North America to meet the qualifications necessary to be granted both the OK Biodegradable Soil and OK Biodegradable Water certificates," said Petra Michiels, Contract Manager OK Compost of Vinçotte.
Mirel is the second biobased resin worldwide, starch-based being the first, to obtain both the soil and fresh water product certifications. However, unlike starch-based biopolymers, Mirel has performance properties resembling traditional, petroleum-based plastics. The OK Biodegradable Soil and OK Biodegradable Water certifications indicate to brand owners and consumers that the biomaterial has passed tests and examinations in accordance with current European standards and pertinent documentation.