Metabolix: Biodegradable film for food-packaging

Metabolix Inc., USA, which uses biotechnology to develop environmentally friendly plastics from renewable resources, is working with the U.S. government to commercialize biodegradable food-packaging film for the U.S. Navy. The goal is to reduce the environmental impact of waste generated by the Navy. If the project is successful, the packaging film could be adopted by other branches of the military, says the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Center in Natick Mass. The U.S. military produces more than 14,000 tons of packaging waste from 47 million food rations annually.
The material in evaluation is Metabolix’s polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) film, which offers barrier properties, stability with hot liquids, and biodegradability in fresh or salt water, soil or compost, and anaerobic conditions. PHA plastics can be rigid or elastomeric, and are suitable for films, moldings, fibers, coatings, and adhesives. The project seeks to develop processing guidelines for the material, determine its performance properties and biodegradation, and evaluate its suitability for use in laminated and coextruded structures. Metabolix,

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