Drinking from biodegradable plastic

Go Green with Corn Plastic

Take a moment to look around your home or office and notice how much plastic we use. From packaging to cups to grocery bags, you can find plastic just about everywhere – including our oceans and landfills.

The problem is that traditional plastic is made from petroleum-based materials. Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, meaning there is a finite amount of it. Petroleum-based products also take centuries to break down, if they break down at all. If you consider the environmental effects of plastic production along with greenhouse gas emissions during break down, you find even more alarming information about traditional plastics.

Luckily, Illinois farmers are growing an alternative: corn.


Corn is a renewable resource – just ask the many farmers who are growing more of it each year. As we aim for more global sustainability, it is important to learn more ways to rely on renewable alternatives to things like petroleum and oil.


“Biodegradable” implies that the decomposition happens in weeks to months, rather than the centuries it can take traditional plastic to degrade. Under the right conditions microorganisms can completely break down biodegradable plastic into water, carbon dioxide and compost.


Bioplastics produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional plastics over their lifetime. There is no net increase in carbon dioxide when they break down because the plants that bioplastics are made from absorbed that same amount of carbon dioxide as they grew. A 2017 study determined that switching from traditional plastic to corn-based would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent. Bioplastics in the future could be produced with renewable energy, which showed even more promise for sustainability.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-truth-bioplastics.html#jCp