Metabolix' biodegradable plastics are called Mirel natural plastics. It is suitable for fiber, film, molding compounds, adhesives and coatings.
Mirel is composed of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) which is made by the fermentation of plant sugars. PHA materials reportedly biodegrade in fresh water, marine, soil and composting environments. Metabolix is exploring manufacturing PHAs directly in crop plants in the field.
Mirel is able to be home composted due to its ability to compost under low-temperature environments.
A 50,000 ton/year manufacturing facility is being built in Clinton, Iowa under the joint venture, Telles, which is comprised of Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland. Products should be available for customers by late 2009. This facility will purportedly only use petroleum for fertilizing; corn stalks supplemented with wind power will be used to produce energy for the plant.