The Proof Is in the Details
Mirel resins are biodegradable plastics made from sugar, and like most other bioplastics and organic matter, that are not designed to biodegrade in landfills, but they will biodegrade in natural soil and water environments, home composting systems, and industrial composting facilities where these facilities are available.
The rate and extent of Mirel’s biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it. Through a microbial fermentation process, the base polymer PHA is produced within the microbial cells, and then harvested from the cell. Development work by Metabolix for more than 16 years has led to industrial strains of the cells, which can efficiently transform natural sugars into PHA. The recovered polymer is made into pellets to produce Mirel bioplastics products. Mirel biodegradable plastics comprise a wide variety of grades, including:
- Film grade (for blown and cast film applications): Can be used for agricultural mulch film, compost bags, retail bags, and packaging
- Injection molding grade: Can replace polystyrene or polypropylene for use in many consumer retail products and high-performance applications
- Extrusion sheet and thermoforming grade: Can be used for gift cards, large format graphics, and storage containers
- Developmental grades (for foam, blow molding, non-woven, and monofilament): Can be used for a variety of products, including containers and bottles, personal care and hygiene products, and safe shipping and packing materials
Material Properties Are Different from Other Bioplastics
With inherent heat and moisture resistance, Mirel resins are the only non-starch materials to receive all four Vinçotte certifications for biodegradability in natural soil and natural water environments, industrial composting units, and home composting systems.