June 20, 2005, Cambridge Massachusetts: Metabolix, Inc. has won the 2005 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for its progress in commercializing a broad family of Natural Plastics that will provide significant environmental benefits compared with current petrochemical plastics. These versatile materials are produced from renewable resources such as corn sugar, and combine.the functionality of traditional plastics with biodegradability in a wide range of environments, including soil, marine, and wetlands. Today's ceremony, to be held in Washington, DC, will recognize the company in the small business category.
"This award recognizes Metabolix' success in transforming PHA Natural Plastics technology from a biological curiosity to a commercial reality," notes Oliver P. Peoples, one of the company's founders and its chief scientific officer.
Metabolix was selected as a winner by an independent panel of technical experts who reviewed more than 80 nominations for this recognition. The Presidential rank awards are given to select individuals and organizations that have made dramatic science contributions with identifiable applications that result in less pollution and/or waste in a manufacturing process.
Metabolix Natural Plastics are today made through fermentation of renewable resources such as corn sugar and vegetable oil, and, in the future, will be produced directly in plants such as switchgrass. They are a versatile family, ranging in properties from rigid to highly elastic, and can be converted into molded and thermoformed goods, extruded coatings and film, blown film, fibers, adhesives, and many other products. They have excellent shelf life and resistance even to hot liquids, greases, and oils, yet they biodegrade in aquatic, marine and soil environments and under anaerobic conditions such as found in septic systems and municipal waste treatment plants. They can be both hot and cold composted.
In November 2004, the company announced an alliance with Archer Daniels Midland to commercialize its fermentation technology, and in March 2005 announced an alliance with British Petroleum to further develop direct production of Natural Plastics in switchgrass. Metabolix has also received government support for its technology from the US Department of Energy's Biomass Program, the Biomass Research and Development program at the US Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Commerce's Advanced Technology Program."
Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is the world leader in applying the advanced tools of metabolic engineering and molecular biology to produce Natural Plastics from renewable resources in microbial systems and directly in non-food plant crops.
More information on the Presidential Green Chemistry Awards is available at: http://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry.
President and CEO
Oliver Peoples, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Scientific Officer