Mirel-based biodegradable plant packaging launched
Posted by John Kalkowski -- Packaging Digest, 4/23/2012 9:09:52 AM
SoilWrap biodegradable plantable flower pot. Floral Plant Growers and Ball Horticulture make SoilWrap using Mirel biopolymer from Metabolix.
Made from 100-percent renewable Mirel biopolymers, Ball SoilWrap is a bottomless plant container that biodegrades naturally in soil. Its innovative design promotes fast plant growth and eliminates transplant shock by immediately bringing roots in direct contact with soil. Once planted in the garden, SoilWrap degrades by becoming food for beneficial soil microbes.
"As a leader in the horticultural industry, we are dedicated to providing gardeners and landscape professionals with new, more sustainable solutions that promote healthy plant growth, enable consumers to reduce waste and empower retailers to differentiate product offerings," said Bill Doeckel, general manager of Ball Innovations, a business unit of Ball Horticultural Company. "Metabolix invested significantly in research and development to create its Mirel biopolymers, which we have tested extensively for our SoilWrap product. We are excited to be launching SoilWrap, with FPG, and do our part to reduce the amount of horticultural plastic going to landfills."
As an alternative to petroleum-based plastics, SoilWrap enables home gardeners to eliminate waste and reduce planting and clean-up time by 30 percent. For growers and retailers, the biodegradability properties enabled by the Mirel biopolymers provide a differentiated and sustainable bioplastic option for customers.
"With last year's successful marketing and consumer trial of Ball Horticultural's SoilWrap plantable pots, we are excited to see the commercial availability of the new product at leading retail locations such as Home Depot and Shopko," said Richard P. Eno, president and CEO of Metabolix. "As one of our earliest customers, Ball's SoilWrap perfectly showcases the key benefits of our Mirel biopolymer. With multiple disposal options, Mirel is one of the most versatile biopolymers on the market and customers like Ball continue to rely on these unique properties to develop more sustainable product offerings."
SoilWrap is currently available on multiple plant types at Home Depot stores in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska and Shopko stores in Illinois, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
Mirel is completely biodegradable in natural soil and marine environments, but delivers the same performance characteristics as many petroleum-based plastics, including printability and heat resistance. Mirel and SoilWrap are both listed on the USDA Biopreferred program, which designates biobased products that are preferred for purchase by federal agencies and their contractors.
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