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Honeywell partners with Metabolix on marine-biodegradable microbeads

Metabolix Inc. (Cambridge, MA), an advanced biomaterials company, announced today that it has entered into a global, exclusive commercial and technology alliance with Honeywell (Morristown, NJ) to offer new marine-biodegradable biopolymers for use in cosmetics and personal care products.

Through the alliance, Metabolix's Mirel polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers will be developed as part of Honeywell's Asensa line of personal care additives that are used in a variety of end-use applications ranging from lipsticks to moisturizers to pressed powders. Using these biopolymers will help address pending legislation in the United States focused on replacing synthetic, non-biodegradable microbeads, as well as global demand for biobased and biodegradable alternatives.

"With Honeywell's material science expertise and market channels and Metabolix's history of innovation in sustainable biopolymers, we hope to see a range of new Asensa ingredients introduced to the market through this alliance," said Max Senechal, Vice President, Strategy and Commercial Development, at Metabolix.

The technology is intended to meet increasing regulatory and other requirements around the world for personal care microbeads that biodegrade in marine and fresh water environments. Using applicable ASTM test methods, the marine biodegradability of Mirel PHA biopolymers has been shown to be similar to that of cellulose and paper, and is faster than other commercially available biodegradable polymers.

"We are excited to work with Honeywell to bring the benefits of Mirel PHA biopolymers that have been shown to be biodegradable in soil, marine and fresh water environments to the personal care market," added Senechal.

The alliance with Metabolix will help Honeywell meet increasing consumer demand for environmentally friendly personal care ingredients. "We look forward to offering new Honeywell Asensa solutions based on Mirel PHA biopolymers that will deliver great exfoliation performance that is gentle on both the skin and the planet," said Heidi Lebel, Global Business Manager for Honeywell's personal care business.

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