Packaging is a key market for the company’s R&D efforts in bioplastics using PLA and, especially, its PHA polymers for use in existing products and to create entirely new products with enhanced functionality and features. Lynne Brum, VP, marketing and corporate communications at Metabolix, provides an update on the company’s efforts to bring better “green” into packaging using market-focused bioplastics.
How would you characterize the business climate for bioplastics?
Brum: It’s clear that innovators in the industry are looking closely at how new materials—including biobased ones like PHA—can be incorporated into existing products or can be used to create entirely new products with new functionality and features. And judging by our experiences at this year’s National Plastics Exposition (NPE2015 was held March 23-27 in Orlando), the business climate is excellent for bioplastics that can deliver performance advantages.
How do packaging applications fit into your overall business plans?
Brum: Packaging applications are a major area of interest for Metabolix. Barrier coatings for paper, product packaging film as well as injection molded articles for packaging are all target markets for Metabolix. PHA biopolymers alone, PHA as a modifier for polylactic acid (PLA), and PHA-based barrier coatings for paper offer many versatile options for packaging applications.