Imagine if we had a solution for creating plastics with organic materials. No need to imagine — we do!
Bioplastics are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to plastic bags, containers and water bottles. But what are they made of? The answer is simple…corn!
Bioplastics! The New Plastic!
Bioplastics, which are biodegradable and made from renewable resources, are utilized to reduce the amount of petroleum-based plastic waste polluting and contaminating our ecosystems.
As we know, plastic pollution contributes to the majority of the global warming crisis. Each year, we consume 200 million tons of plastic that are used and thrown out in a matter of minutes, only to take over 400 years to fully decompose. They pose an enormous threat to all life on Earth, including us.
So Why Corn?
Corn plastic is a non-petroleum material that is made by converting corn into a type of resin, which is called polylactic acid (PLA). Since petroleum is most commonly used in
the process of plastics, replacing petroleum-based plastics with bio-based plastics has the potential to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. The manufacturing process for PLA is also more environmentally friendly than that of traditional plastics made from finite fossil resources.
There are lots of other organic materials that are also an option in creating bioplastics, but corn has been proven to be the most effective, along with being the most affordable and available.
Benefits of Corn Plastic Products:
Requires 65% less energy to produce
Emits 68% fewer greenhouse gasses, reducing the carbon footprint
They do not contain additives that are harmful to our health
They are biodegradable - corn plastics can break down within 45-90 days
Corn is a renewable resource which is more available and functional
Where Can I Find PLAs?
Now that you know that there is a safer alternative to plastic, what can you do about it? Certain companies are finally hopping on the trend of being anti-plastic, or at least plastic conscious. These companies have received a BPI certification.
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) refers to the quality of compostable products. Companies who have received this certification, have put their products through a rigorous testing process that will confirm if their products have met the compostable standards of the organization. As corn-based products have made their way into the market, PLAs are starting to become BPI certified.
Even though corn-based plastics are still making their way into the industry, there are companies where you can purchase PLA items such as containers, cups, lids and straws for personal use, or for your business. So here are some of the companies that offer corn plastic products: