Bioplastics firm claims to have married performance and sustainability

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Hba global expo, Archer daniels midland

Biodegradable packaging is often criticized for failing to match the quality of petroleum alternatives, but Telles claims to have developed a solution.

The joint venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has developed a bio-plastic made from fermented corn sugar that it showcased at the HBA Global Expo in New York last week.

Resistant to heat and moisture

Heat and moisture resistance have often been cited as problems that are holding bio-plastics away from cosmetics shelves but Telles claims that Mirel performs well on both counts.

Telles business development manager Kristen Taylor told CosmeticsDesign.com that Mirel can withstand temperatures of 220 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 100 dishwasher cycles.

In addition to other performance properties such as gloss aesthetics and durability Telles also says that Mirel delivers on the sustainability front.

The bio-plastic is biodegradable in a diverse range of environments and according to an independent study there is a potential 95 percent drop in petroleum use when compared to conventional plastics.

Mirel will become widely available next year when ADM opens a production plant in Iowa that will have the capacity of manufacturing 110m pounds of the bio-plastic annually.

Over the past two years Taylor said Telles has been building relationships in the cosmetics industry where Mirel may be used for a wide range of products including lipstick tubes, compacts and jars.

Marketing green cosmetics packaging

Taylor said demand is particularly high in the naturals sector where consumers are looking for an all round green product.

She said: “Manufacturers can charge a lot more for a genuinely green product so long as they successfully communicate their message to the consumer.”

Bio-plastics are more expensive than petroleum products so it is important that companies are able to pass on higher costs to consumers.

Related topics: Sustainable Packaging, Packaging & Design

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