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

Green picnic from Brazil

Green picnic from Brazil

We all love alfresco eating – whether a family barbeque by the pool, a sumptuous feast at the beach on a hot summer day, or a good old-fashioned picnic with chicken sandwiches and apple crumble at the local park.

Rescue mission

Rescue mission

The French design team known as 5.5 designers is on a crusade to save discontinued and obsolete products from the scrap heap.

Share, Work

Colouring judgment on colour

When Mattel recalled millions of toys in 2007 because there was lead in them, it left them red-faced. It also questioned the safety standards in place in some manufacturing plants and made us wonder just how many other toys went unchecked by toy companies with less stringent safety standards.

Creative culture

Creative culture

Daniele Lago was only 33 when he took over his family furniture manufacturing company, Lago Arredamenti, in 2006.

Rest, You