Performance Additives & PVC Plastic

Metabolix is developing biopolymers as PVC performance additives. Metabolix biopolymer resins are miscible with a broad range of biobased and petroleum-based materials and can improve a range of performance attributes such as impact strength, heat resistance, barrier properties, processability and plasticization.   

Polymeric modifiers for PVC

In PVC, a compounded product is typically formulated with about 20-40% performance plastic additives used to improve the processability and performance of PVC recycling products. Metabolix is developing biobased, polymeric modifiers for semi-rigid and flexible PVC compounds. We have shown that our polymeric modifiers can provide a step change in impact modification, plasticization and process modification when added to PVC. We have shown that our bioplastic polymeric modifiers have the potential to improve PVC performace and impact resistance beyond that achievable with leading polymeric modifiers and at the same time serve as a non-migrating, non-phthalate plasticizer.



Polymeric modifiers for polylactic acid (PLA)

PLA is a biobased, compostable aliphatic polyester used in a broad range of compostable applications including: food packaging, food serviceware, and textiles, and features a high tensile modulus but low toughness. Modifiers used today to improve PLA toughness often affect its compostability and lower the biobased carbon content. Metabolix has shown success in using compostable PHA polymeric modifiers to increase the toughness of PLA without reducing the biobased content or affecting compostability of the product. The PHA modified PLA shows an excellent balance of properties with the toughness that can be achieved by the leading non-compostable modifiers.

At Innovation Takes Root 2014 (ITR), we presented new data on amorphous PHA biopolymer additives for PLA. These additives improve ductility and flexibility of PLA, while preserving the natural clarity and compostability of PLA. For more information, our presentation from Innovation Takes Root is available for download below.

View 3rd PLA World Congress Slideshow




Metabolix has produced the following products:

Product Product Highlights Performance

I6001 is an effective, multifunctional, biobased polymeric modifier for semi-rigid and flexible PVC compounds. This product is ideal for applications requiring very low migration, extraction and VOC formulation for applications in the automotive, medical, packaging and construction industries.


I6001 is highly miscible with PVC additives and improves impact resistance, tear resistance, tensile toughness and plasticization, while not compromising clarity and UV stability. Renewable content >85% biobased.


I6003rp is a performance additive designed to increase recycle rates of PVC while adding performance and processing benefits. Metabolix launched I6003rp in Fall of 2013.

I6003rp is an effective biobased polymeric additive for improving recycled PVC value and increasing its reuse in PVC compounds. It improves tensile toughness and tear resistance and provides plastification, while not compromising clarity or UV stability. I6003rp increases scrap recycling reuse rate without compromising hardness or discoloring the PVC.

Mirel® a-PHA copolymer modifiers for PLA

Metabolix has developed a range of Mirel® a-PHA copolymers that are effective polymeric modifiers for PLA. The use of a-PHA performance modifiers at low loading levels maintain the  high biocontent, compostability and clarity of PLA while improving processing, toughness and softness of PLA plastic products in a range of applications.

PLA (polylactic acid) is a biobased, compostable biopolymer material made though the fermentation of industrial corn sugar. PLA is one of the leading bioplastics on the market today with a range of diverse applications that include extruded/thermoformed sheet, injection molded products, blown and cast films, as well as fibers and non-wovens. Some typical bioplastic products made with PLA plastic include packaging materials, food packaging and service ware, and textiles