What if plants could be plastic factories?

plants full
Metabolix switchgrass produces a polymer to make biodegradable plastic. via Christian Science Monitor

The greenhouse at Metabolix’s lab is full of grass. That would be unexciting, except that the 300 or so pots of switchgrass growing here have been genetically engineered to produce a kind of polymer used to make plastics.

Metabolix, a bioplastics company founded in 1992, is one of a small group of companies and universities pushing at a new frontier in bioplastics: the genetic engineering of crops to produce plastics materials. The efforts – unique in making bioplastics not from, but in, crops – put forward a solution to the longstanding problem of bioplastics: how to make the production costs of bioplastics as cheap as, or cheaper than, oil-based plastics.

Read the full, original story here: “What if plants could be plastic factories?”

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