Metabolix inks distribution, PHA Supply pact with Tianjin GreenBio Materials

| March 28, 2013

metabolixMetabolix to Distribute Tianjin GreenBio’s SoGreen Heat Shrink Film in the U.S. and Europe

In Massachusetts, Metabolix announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Tianjin GreenBio Materials, based in Tianjin, China.

Under the terms of the agreement, Metabolix will distribute GreenBio’s SoGreen heat shrink film in Europe and will be the exclusive distributor in the Americas. In addition to a distribution relationship, Metabolix and GreenBio have also signed a supply agreement for PHA biopolymers.

Under the arrangement, GreenBio will also supply PHA resins to Metabolix, which will extend the range and availability of the Company’s PHA products.

Tianjin GreenBio offers two grades of heat shrink film that are used to bind together items for packaging, shipping, and storage. One SoGreen product is designed to replace non-compostable PVC film often used to package boxed goods, software and other non-edible products. The other is designed to replace softer polyethylene films, also not compostable and often used for wrapping multiple items, often bulky and irregular in shape, such as packs of bottled water. The SoGreen heat shrink film resins (2001 and 3001) are certified by DIN CERTCO to meet the EN 13432 standard for compostable plastics.

Company reaction

“Tianjin GreenBio has developed a heat shrink film based on PHA biopolymers. This product complements our product slate aimed at film and bag applications and we expect will be of interest to customers in the U.S. and Europe seeking biobased materials and biodegradable performance,” said Bob Engle, vice president, business and commercial development, biopolymers, at Metabolix. “With products and technology that are complementary, the distribution and PHA supply agreements mark a first step toward potentially working with Tianjin to develop additional PHA biopolymer products.”

“We are excited to work with Metabolix to gain greater exposure for our products in the Americas and Europe,” said Dr. Lu Weichuan, chairman and president of Tianjin GreenBio. “Metabolix has extensive experience in biopolymers, and we look forward to working together to build the market for PHA-based biopolymer products.”

More about GreenBio

GreenBio has established a production base for PHA in Binhai District, Tianjin, China with a design capacity of 10 KTPA. GreenBio’s vision is to promote the use of fully biodegradable materials in people’s lives and to reduce the depletion of oil resources in order to effectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions and make contributions to the sustainable development of society.

Metabolix on the move: the recent narrative

In December, Metabolix announced that Mvera B5008, a new certified-compostable film grade resin, is now available for shipment to customers. Compounded in Europe for local markets and widely available for global customers, Mvera B5008 is designed for applications including compost bags, can liners used for organic waste, as well as shopping and retail bags that can be reused as compostable organic waste bags.

In October,  Metabolix annoucned the development of a new biobased PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) copolymer that improves the mechanical and environmental performance characteristics of PVC. The PHA copolymers improve the plasticization, impact and processing modification of rigid and flexible PVC. Today, PVC ranks globally as the third biggest plastics molecule — after polyethylene and polypropylene. It’s used ubiquitously in piping – also in place of rubber – for clothing, upholstery, electrical cable insulation, inflatable products, and medical applications.

In August, Metabolix signed a letter of intent with Antibioticos for production of Mirel biopolymer resin at its manufacturing facility in Leon, Spain. Under the terms of the LOI, Metabolix will begin work immediately with Antibioticos to conduct a series of validation production runs to demonstrate fermentation and recovery of Mirel biopolymer resin on full production-scale equipment at Antibioticos.

Last May, Metabolix opened a new office in office in Cologne. Located in the BioCampus Cologne life science park, the space will enable the Company to directly access the European market for biopolymers and will serve as a coordination point for its regional initiatives in renewable chemicals. The new office marked the first expansion for Metabolix outside of the United States.

Last March,  Metabolix announced that it has granted a non-exclusive license to NatureWorks LLC for the U.S. patent No. 5,883,199, titled “Polylactic Acid-based Blends,” to make, use and sell blends of polylactic acid (PLA) with certain other polymers including polybutylene succinic polymers (PBS). The University of Massachusetts Lowell is the owner of the ‘199 patent, and Metabolix, Inc. is the exclusive licensee in the relevant field. NatureWorks and the biochemicals company BioAmber recently announced a joint venture which will support NatureWorks in bringing to market new performance Ingeo polymer compositions.

More on the story.


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