Telles has agreed to supply its Mirel bio-based resin to Heritage Bag Co. for production of compostable trash bags, can liners and kitchen compostable bags.
Compounder Heritage Plastics Inc. of Picayune, Miss., will use Mirel to produce its BioTuf compostable film for parent company Carrollton, Texas-based Heritage Bag, officials said in a May 15 news release.
Telles is the Lowell, Mass.-based joint venture between Metabolix Inc. and Archer Daniels Midland Co.
BioTuf is a pelletized, mineral-containing compound based on a blend of biodegradable resins, including aliphatic/aromatic copolyester. It is designed to be extruded and converted on standard processing equipment for low density polyethylene or grooved-feed high-molecular-weight high density PE.
Frank Ruiz, research director for both Heritage companies, said Mirel has improved the toughness and tensile properties of Heritage bags.
Heritage has produced limited runs of the film and will go into full production later this year, he said in a June 4 telephone interview.
“The market for completely biodegradable and compostable bags is growing by more than 15 percent a year,” he said. “The process of turning organic trash into compost is becoming a significant trend in waste management and that represents a multimillion-dollar business opportunity for us.”
Launched in 2007, Mirel is a corn-derived polyhydroxyalkanoate targeted at the agriculture/horticulture, marine, compostable bag, consumer product, business equipment and packaging markets.
Mirel will decompose or degrade in two months to two years, depending on the density of the product and whether it is in ground water, soil, rivers, home compost or municipal treatment plants. According to Heritage, BioTuf bags made from the film completely degraded in 60 days inside a commercial composting facility.
Mirel has been used in North America by Target Corp. for gift cards. American Excelsior Co. uses the resin in its E-Staple biodegradable turf stake, and Recycline Inc. uses Mirel to make consumer products including toothbrushes, razors and tableware.
Telles currently produces about 30,000 pounds of Mirel monthly at its pilot plant and is increasing capacity to 50,000 pounds over the coming months. ADM has begun construction of the first commercial-scale Mirel plant in Clinton, Iowa. The new facility will produce 110 million pounds of Mirel per year and is expected to start in the second quarter of 2009.