Scientists from universities around Australia are developing cornstarch as a cost competitive substitute for plastics. A Melbourne-based company, Plantic Technologies, plans to market the new material and set up a manufacturing plant in Victoria or Queensland. 

Plantic’s Managing Director and CEO, David MacInnes, spoke to Curve, about this cutting edge, environmentally friendly packaging material.

Cornstarch can be thermoformed or injection moulded using existing processing technologies and equipment. Its most obvious application is in the dry food packaging market, according to MacInnes.

Packaging made from cornstarch is fully biodegradable and easily disposed of by composting or incineration. Cornstarch is a renewable and sustainable resource and economically stands out as it is cost competitive with products made from petrochemicals.

MacInnes says cornstarch has superior handling characteristics to standard plastics. The material is self-sealing, amenable to high resolution printing and has little or no odour or tainting. It can be coloured using food dyes. Scents can also easily be added.

The material also has applications in agricultural crop maintenance. A black agricultural film, that is used to cover crops to suppress weeds, can be ploughed into the soil after crop harvesting and then degrades after six weeks.

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Harvest time in the city

Harvest time in the city

Peach is a fruit storage and refrigeration unit for people living in high density, inner city dwellings. Matt Smith of Punga Design in New Zealand explains:

News, Rest, You
Cataloguing life

Cataloguing life

When browsing through interiors magazines, one is certain to find iconic pieces. It could be the Eames Lounger, the Jean Prouvé Standard chair or the über-pop George Nelson desk or sofa – all very safe bets in terms of styling.

Rest, Share
All tied up

All tied up

Zagros Lalo, a structural engineer based in the UK, had a revolutionary idea for a tying strip fastener. So confident was he in his Xtra-Strap concept that he set up a company, Zerco, in order to bring it to market.

Work, You

True simplicity

Some ideas are very simple, honest and clear-cut. Yet turning these qualities into an actual product can be a tricky business.