Plantic is made from corn starch, a renewable and sustainable source that is free from genetically modified material and is non-toxic to humans and the environment. The plastic will decompose rapidly – dissolving instantly on contact with water.  

“Plantic products have unrivalled environmental benefits,” said David MacInnes, Chief Executive Officer of Plantic Technologies Limited. “Our material will shortly be seen in some leading consumer products which is a great achievement so soon after commencement of our commercial operation.”

The product and its technology was a highlight of the recent international packaging conference AUSPACK 2003. The cost compares favourably with petro-chemical-based alternatives.

Initially, the applications for the PlanticTM patented biopolymer will be thermoformed dry goods food packaging including biscuit and confectionery trays, food display products and blister packaging. Ongoing research and development of the materials will make many other applications available.

“Our technology has overcome one of the major obstacles previously faced in the commercial use of starch biopolymers – the balance between controlling the stability of the material while maintaining complete and rapid biodegradability in water.” 

“Regardless of the physical form of PlanticTM, it will break down in virtually any outdoor environment, whether compost, landfill or even the sea, to yield the stable and safe end-products carbon dioxide and water,” said MacInnes.

The manufacturing process for producing the PlanticTM biopolymer can also be readily adapted to incorporate colour and aromas into the final product as well as a range of gauges and sizes.

For the packaging of sensitive electrical goods, the new product has the advantage of low static properties compared with plastics made from petrochemicals.

PlanticTM is non-toxic and wholly organic so, even if placed in household bins and taken to landfill, it will breakdown quickly and fully, therefore not polluting local ground water systems. 

PlanticTM materials were the result of seven years of research at the Federal Government funded Cooperative Research Centre for International Food Manufacture & Packaging Science. Plantic Technologies was established by the CRC and attracted venture funding last year to commercialise the technology. PlanticTM received a Technology Transfer Award from the Federal Government last year.  

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