1. Home
  2. News
  3. News Releases
  4. Metabolix and ADM to Produce Mirel™, The World’s First Biobased and Fully Biodegradable Plastic

Metabolix and ADM to Produce Mirel™, The World’s First Biobased and Fully Biodegradable Plastic

04/23/2007

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Metabolix Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), a leader in the use of bioscience to provide sustainable, clean solutions for plastics, fuels and chemicals, and ADM (NYSE: ADM), the global leader in BioEnergy and a premier agricultural processor, announced that they will jointly produce Mirel™ Natural Plastics. Mirel is a family of high performance natural plastics that are biobased, sustainable and completely biodegradable.

Metabolix and ADM are commercializing Mirel through their joint venture, TellesTM, named for the Roman goddess of the Earth. Telles is now building its first commercial scale plant in Clinton, Iowa. This plant is expected to start up in 2008 and will produce Mirel at an annual rate of 110 million pounds.

Jim Barber, President and CEO of Metabolix, said, “Today marks an important step in providing consumers with products made of plastics that don’t harm the environment. We are now commercializing biobased, renewable alternatives to petroleum-based plastics that will reduce our reliance on oil and the impact petroleum use has on climate change.”

John Rice, ADM Executive Vice President, said, “As the global leader in BioEnergy, ADM is committed to providing biobased solutions to help meet the demand for products traditionally made from petroleum. Mirel natural plastics are an important step forward as they provide natural, sustainable products for the plastics market.”

Mirel is a versatile brand of natural plastics produced from renewable resources like corn sugar that provides an alternative to traditional, oil-based plastics. But unlike oil-based plastics, Mirel will biodegrade harmlessly back to nature in a wide range of environments such as soil, compost, rivers, and oceans.

More than 350 billion pounds of plastic is produced each year and nearly 10 percent of total U.S. oil consumption – about two million barrels a day – is used to make plastic each year. Its manufacture contributes to the world’s growing dependence on oil and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, plastics significantly impact the global ecosystem since they do not biodegrade in soil, landfills, rivers or oceans.

Telles expects that its customers will market their natural plastic products co-branded with the Mirel name and logo. “We are optimistic that Mirel’s name and distinguishable heart-shaped leaf will become the trusted mark consumers look for in environmentally-responsible plastics,” said Barber.

Mirel can be used as an alternative to petroleum-based plastic in a wide variety of conversion processes, including injection molding, paper coating, cast film and sheet, blown film, and thermoforming. Metabolix is currently working with more than 40 prospective customers on more than 60 applications, including consumer products, packaging, single use disposables, and products used in agriculture and erosion control.

About Mirel™

Mirel is a family of high performance Natural Plastics that are biobased, sustainable and totally biodegradable. Mirel is produced from renewable resources such as corn sugar using a fully biological fermentation process, producing a versatile range of biobased natural plastics with excellent durability in use but that also biodegrade benignly in a wide range of environments. Upon exposure to biologically active environments like soil, compost or oceans, Mirel will biodegrade over time leaving no harmful byproducts.

Mirel is an excellent alternative to petroleum-based plastics in a wide variety of conversion processes including injection molding, papercoating, sheet, cast film and sheet, blown film and thermoforming.

About Metabolix

Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation driven bioscience company providing clean, sustainable solutions for the world’s needs for plastics, fuels, and chemicals. The Company is taking a systems approach, from gene to end product, to integrate sophisticated biotechnology with advanced industrial practice, and is now developing and commercializing environmentally sustainable and totally biodegradable Natural Plastics as a clean alternative to petroleum-based plastics. In addition to its microbial fermentation platform for production of Natural Plastics, Metabolix is also developing a proprietary platform technology for co-producing, in biomass energy crops such as switchgrass, Natural Plastic and biomass for biofuels such as ethanol and for chemical products. For more information, please visit www.metabolix.com. (MBLX-G)

About Archer Daniels Midland Company

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) is the world leader in BioEnergy and has a premier position in the agricultural processing value chain. ADM is one of the world's largest processors of soybeans, corn, wheat and cocoa. ADM is a leading manufacturer of biodiesel, ethanol, soybean oil and meal, corn sweeteners, flour and other value-added food and feed ingredients. Headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, ADM has over 26,000 employees, more than 240 processing plants and net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2006 of $37 billion. Additional information can be found on ADM's Web site at http://www.admworld.com/.

About Telles™

To commercialize Mirel natural plastics, Metabolix and ADM formed a joint venture, which operates under the name Telles. Telles is responsible for the manufacturing, marketing and sales of Mirel.

ADM Contact:
Media: Jessie McKinney, ADM Media Relations, 217-424-5413
or
Metabolix Contacts:
Media: Brian Ruby, ICR, 203-682-8268, brian.ruby@icrinc.com
Investor: Kathleen Heaney, ICR, 203 -803-3585, kheaney@icrinc.com