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Non-Tech : Metabolix [MBLX] a Full Disclosure Thread -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: Sam Citron who wrote (7)11/17/2006 10:01:15 AM
From: richardred  Respond to of 78
When Warner Lambert was a stand along company. They were one of the first I remember getting into this area. Now, long since sold off units. Some old articles I found.


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Published: January 24, 1995

Churchill Technology Inc., which developed biodegradable plastic film, said yesterday that it had agreed to acquire Ecostar International and the Novon degradable polymer division of the Warner-Lambert Company. Financial terms were not disclosed. Churchill said it had already completed the acquisition of Novon and would close the acquisition of Ecostar and merge the two companies under the name Novon International. Churchill will move its headquarters from Delray Beach, Fla., to Ecostar's home in Buffalo.

Biodegradable packaging diverts waste to compost pile
Prepared Foods, June, 1993
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Biodegradable, perhaps even edible, packaging could be in your future. It's not as far-fetched as it sounds.

Products that perform like plastic but biodegrade like paper are under development throughout the world. A handful of commercial applications are on the market, and demand is surging.

A recent study by Frost & Sullivan, for example, predicts the European market for inherently degradable packaging will skyrocket from $1.47 million in 1991 to $143.8 million in 1995.

Why? True biodegradable packaging is made from renewable--usually plant-based--resources. Thus, it can be composted, a method of solid-waste management now beginning to be recognized as an essential companion to recycling to minimize the amount of waste land-filled or incinerated.

A 1992 National Audubon Society/Procter & Gamble Co. study of Fairfield and Greenwich, Conn., showed that residents practicing source-separated composting and recycling could divert 70% of their household trash from the landfill.

According to Audubon experts, composting can turn food and yard wastes; disposable diapers; sanitary products; and food-contaminated, wet, waxed, and other currently nonrecyclable waste paper into humus, a rich soil enhancer.


Interest in composting is especially strong among organizations that generate a large percentage of organic waste, such as foodservice outlets and supermarkets. For these businesses, biodegradable packaging simplifies the composting process by eliminating the labor needed to separate the food product from the package.

Several grocery store chains already operate composting programs. In addition, a partnership formed by the National Audubon Society, the Food Marketing Institute, and the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) has launched a multi-year program called "Compost...for Earth's Sake."

Its goal is to determine the real costs of composting, the most economical way to add composting to existing recycling programs, how well participants like composting, and what end markets exist for humus, according to Dr. Jan Beyea, chief scientist at Audubon.

During 1993, the program will use Santa Barbara County, Calif., as a test site to evaluate methods to collect compostable waste economically.

"As producers of organic |waste~ material, the grocery industry is strongly committed to maximizing the use of composting," says Elizabeth Seiler, director of environmental affairs at GMA. "Both grocery manufacturers and retailers hope to establish composting as a viable and sustainable component of an integrated waste management system."


The major stumbling block to using biodegradable packaging and expanding composting networks is cost.

In some instances, the biodegradable packaging costs ten times or more than its traditional counterpart. However, as demand grows and production facilities scale up, the cost gap is expected to narrow.

The world's largest manufacturing facility for biodegradable polymers is a 100-million-pound-per-year plant in Rockford, Ill. Completed by Novon Products Group of Warner-Lambert Co. in 1992, it uses corn and potato starch to produce film, foam, thermoform, blow-molding, and injection-molding grades.

Since the specialty polymers are made solely from substances acceptable for food contact, food packaging applications are expected, possibly yet this year, according to David S. Brooks, manager, marketing communications at Novon. Potential uses include produce packaging and containers for in-store bakery products.

Although Novon's polymers cost about four times more than commodity thermoplastics, they would add only a couple cents to the cost of a fast-food meal because their biodegradability permits food-contaminated waste to be composted with minimal handling.

In North Dakota, a company called Bio-Sunn Corp. is building a 100-container-per-minute pilot system for Germany's WELA GmbH to make biodegradable packaging from flax straw or sugar cane waste remaining in the fields after harvest.

Normally, this material is burned because it does not decompose readily when plowed under. Since it's considered waste, it's extremely economical--about 28|cents~ a pound.

The process pulps the straw and mixes it with a small amount of water to release a natural glue. This enables the material to be molded into trays, clamshells, or other shapes. A beeswax coating can be added to provide a barrier against grease and moisture.

Process water is recycled and a gooey byproduct can be used as cattle feed or in ethanol production. Used packaging can be repulped to make new containers, composted, or fed to cattle. A full-scale plant in Garrison, N.D., is expected to be operational by 1995.


In Europe, another biodegradable packaging material, this one from Austria's Biologische Verpackungssysteme GmbH, uses starch, typically from potatoes, corn, or wheat.

In a process similar to waffle making, the biopolymer material (tradenamed Biopac) is mixed with cellulose and water and poured into heated molds. After cooling, the molded material is conditioned to a constant moisture content to ensure elasticity and strength.

To: Sam Citron who wrote (7)11/17/2006 9:13:44 PM
From: richardred  Read Replies (2) | Respond to of 78
Sam: I like Metabolix as a pure play in bio- plastics. I like the fact it has a powerful partner in ADM. As we talked earlier. IMO -It's a story stock right now. I don't think the positive story reached it's full potential in the market yet. However if the market turns negative. I don't think it will treat Metabolix kindly. I will most likely wait before I invest here. I will post it on your board if I do invest it. I'm still thinking, in time, Cargill will bring Natureworks public to help fund it, while keeping a controlling stake. They bought back Dow Chemicals stake awhile back. Bio plastic companies will be under pressure IMO if the price of corn keeps rising..

>Do you know of any better ethanol plays around that we can invest in. Keep an eye on the companies Vinod is invested in, possibly coming public, in the near future.

My personal ethanol preferences are ADM, AVR, PEIX, and VSE. I sold all my AVR yesterday as posted in my thread. I now own no pure plays in ethanol. That could change at any time with me.