Small Business Innovation Supports The Environment

Chief Counsel Joins Environmental Protection Agency To Present The 2005 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award

By commercializing “natural plastics” made from renewable resources such as corn sugar, the innovative small firm Metabolix, Inc., based in Cambridge, Mass. is helping to improve environmental quality using a market-based approach. Its technical innovations won the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2005 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for small business, presented yesterday by Chief Counsel for Advocacy Thomas M. Sullivan.

“Small business innovation goes hand-in-hand with environmental stewardship,” said Sullivan. “The innovations by Metabolix are just one example of how small businesses are leading the way toward an environmentally friendly future. By harnessing the power of markets they are able to do well by doing good, and that’s what dynamic market-based solutions are all about.”

According to the firm, Metabolix Natural Plastics are made through fermentation of renewable resources such as corn sugar and vegetable oil. They are a versatile family, ranging in properties from rigid to highly elastic, and can be converted into molded and thermoformed goods, extruded coatings and film, blown film, fibers, adhesives, and many other products. They have excellent shelf life and resistance to hot liquids, greases, and oils, yet they biodegrade in aquatic, marine and soil environments and under anaerobic conditions such as found in septic systems and municipal waste treatment plants.

The EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Awards provide national recognition of outstanding chemical technologies that incorporate the principles of green chemistry into chemical design, manufacture, and use, and that have been or can be utilized by industry in achieving their pollution prevention goals.

The Office of Advocacy, the “small business watchdog” of the government, examines the role and status of small business in the economy and independently represents the views of small business to federal agencies, Congress, and the President. It is the source for small business statistics presented in user-friendly formats and it funds research into small business issues.

For more information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency website at

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policy makers. For more information, visit, or call (202) 205-6533.

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