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Plastics & Elastomers

Compostable Packaging Applications

SpecialChem / Jan 9, 2007

The US Army's Natick Soldier Center and Metabolix Inc. are jointly researching biodegradable food packaging film for use by the US Navy. The work is focused on Metabolix's polyhydroxyalkanoate biopolymer films, which are already available commercially in the civil sector. Metabolix is working with the Natick Soldier Center to develop PHA compositions suitable for extrusion processing determine mechanical, thermal and barrier properties of the materials; and conduct biodegradation tests on the films. Investigations may also lead to exploring nanocomposites and co-extruded multilaminate systems incorporating PHAs as potential food packaging film for the US Navy as well as the US Army. The US Navy's Waste Removal Afloat Protects the Sea supports the program collaboration. Metabolix PHAs are excellent candidates for the Navy's research in film applications as the new material combines both barrier properties and biodegradability in the marine environment. Recyclable and/or biodegradable food packaging for the military is important for addressing significant waste problems.

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