|Metabolix and ADM Collaborate on Plastic|
Monday April 23, 12:04 pm ET
Metabolix and ADM to Jointly Produce a Family of Biobased and Biodegradable Plastics
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Plastics, fuels and chemicals maker Metabolix Inc. and agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland Co. said Monday they will jointly produce a family of plastics that are crop-based, sustainable and biodegradable.
Mirel Natural Plastics, which are made from renewable resources such as corn sugar, will be commercialized through the two companies' joint venture, Telles. Telles' first commercial-scale plant in Clinton, Iowa is expected to start up in 2008 and produce Mirel at an annual rate of 110 million pounds.
The companies said the crop-based plastics are an alternative to petroleum-based plastics and will help reduce reliance on oil.
On Friday, the companies released an online survey showing 72 percent of respondents do not know that most plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil.
The survey, which was conducted by national online market research firm InsightExpress for Telles, also showed that 40 percent of respondents incorrectly believe that that petroleum-based plastic will biodegrade, or dissolve naturally in landfills and oceans.
Metabolix said it is currently working with more than 40 prospective customers on more than 60 applications for Mirel, including consumer products, packaging, single-use disposables, and products used in agriculture and erosion control.
Metabolix shares surged $2.86, or 15.9 percent, to $20.85 in morning trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of Metabolix, which went public in November 2006, have since traded between $14.09 and $21.18.
Shares of ADM, which is based in Decatur, Ill., rose 37 cents to $38.92 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.