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Ball Horticultural and Costa Farms Launch New Mirel-based SoilWrap Biodegradable Plant Container

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Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), a bioscience company focused on developing clean, sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, Ball Horticultural Company and Costa Farms, today announced that the Mirel®-based biodegradable SoilWrap® plant containers are now available at Lowe's Home Improvement stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.


SoilWrap biodegradable plantable flower pot. Costa Farms and Ball Horticulture make SoilWrap using Mirel biopolymer from Metabolix. (Photo: Business Wire)

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.1

"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 grower Costa Farms, 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 Lowe's Home Improvement Stores," 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 Wave® petunias and Sunpatiens® impatiens at Lowe's Home Improvement stores in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

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.

About Costa Farms

Costa Farms is the largest producer of indoor houseplants in the world. Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third generation, family owned business that globally stretches over 3,800 acres and employs 2,800 people. Along with thriving indoor and bedding plant divisions, Costa Farms operations are located in Florida and North Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic, and Far East.

About Ball Horticultural Company

Ball Horticultural Company is an internationally renowned breeder, producer and wholesale distributor of ornamental plants. A family-owned business since it was founded in 1905, Ball has introduced many innovative, award-winning varieties to the world of horticulture, including the Wave(R) petunia family and Super Elfin(R) impatiens. Ball is committed to sustainable practices and has highlighted its green accomplishments in its "Sustainability Report." The company has worldwide production, sales and marketing through its many subsidiaries on six continents. For further information, log on to

About Metabolix

Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on providing sustainable solutions for the world's needs for plastics, chemicals and energy. The Company is taking a systems approach, from gene to end product, integrating sophisticated biotechnology with advanced industrial practice. Metabolix is developing biosourced industrial chemicals and plastics, as well as a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy from crops.


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