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The Marketplace Reader

‘Natural’ plastic on the horizon?

Richard Core Aug 11, 2008

Metabolix, a bioscience company, says it has developed an efficient way to manufacture biodegradable plastic with the leaves of switchgrass.

Here’s a C-Net report on the product, which is marketed under the brand Mirel:

Mirel bioplastic, called polyhydroxybutyrate (PHA), are biodegradeable alternatives to petroleum plastic. A manufacturer of gardening stakes is using the plastic and it can be used for credit cards or containers of consumer products.

Growing the plastic in a plant will allow for the switchgrass to produce both bioplastics and use residual biomass for energy, according to the company. The plastic would be culled and turned into pellets for plastic production.

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