A new adsorbent, polyhydroxybutyrate-b-polyethyleneglycol, was used for the separation and preconcentration of copper(II) and lead(II) ions prior to their flame atomic absorption spectrometric detections. The influences of parameters such as pH, amount of adsorbent, flow rates and sample volumes were investigated. The polymer does not interact with alkaline, alkaline-earth metals and transition metals. The enrichment factor was 50. The detection limits were 0.32 mu g L-1 and 1.82 mu g L-1 for copper and lead, respectively. The recovery values were found >95%. The relative standard deviations were found to be less than 6%. The validation of the procedure was performed by analysing certified reference materials; NIST SRM 1515 Apple leaves, IAEA-336 Lichen and GBW-07605 Tea. The method was successfully applied for the analysis of analytes in water and food samples. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.