Cornstarch has evolved in recent years into a more eco-friendly substitute for individuals seeking an alternative to conventional synthetic plastic. You may be familiar with Polylactic Acid (PLA), which is generated from fermented cornstarch and is used to make corn plastic. Because it is created from maize grain, a renewable resource, corn plastic is environmentally friendly compared to toxic plastics. Additionally, corn plastic is biodegradable due to the ability of microbes to break it down into carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic chemicals. However, how significantly can cornstarch products be the alternative to toxic plastics?
In comparison to conventional petroleum-based plastics, this bioplastic doesn’t emit any hazardous gasses, produce 68% fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and consume 65% less energy during production, according to EliteLabelsGroup. The end product is pellets of polylactic acid plastics, which can be melted down to create a wide range of goods. In our opinion, cornstarch products are ideal to reduce the usage of toxic plastic items.
Furthermore, corn starch plastic production is rising as a result of consumer desire for eco-friendly goods around the world. If you want to be the part of the game changer, replacing your plastic items with more eco-friendly cornstarch-based products is a first step you should take.
In addition, we’ve gathered insightful information about cornstarch items to help you understand the big picture. Before making your first biodegradable product purchase, let’s learn more about these ground-breaking things!
The Global Problem: Plastic
There’s no denying that even small things can have big impacts; whether good or bad! Let us understand this by taking insight into some global analysis on plastic.
- Around 9 million tons of plastic waste ends up in the oceans every year.
- Each year around 10 billion plastic pens are thrown in the landfills.
- Over 1,000,000 plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the globe.
- India alone generates plastic waste that weighs as much as 150 large blue whales, the largest animal known to exist on the planet, everyday.
You can imagine the long-term problematic and non-biodegradable waste produced. Much of this material persists for centuries or even longer to breakdown. It is predicted that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the oceans will outnumber the fishes.
You may wonder about the feasible measures that could be taken to combat this universal epidemic. One of the effective measures that can curb plastic usage and provide alternative solutions to plastic is cornstarch products.
The Remedy: Cornstarch Products
Before diving deeper into cornstarch products, you should understand the invention of cornstarch plastics is the real game changer. As people are increasingly concerned about how eco-friendly products affect the environment, this has resulted in a developing market for the production of cornstarch plastic goods. But, is cornstarch plastic ready to play a significant role as a viable and biodegradable replacement for traditional, petroleum-based plastic bags throughout the world?
1. What Are Cornstarch Products?
Just like their name, these are products made by cornstarch. They are the eco-friendly plastic alternative which is made by PLA or corn plastic. Besides, they have similar characteristics as chemical plastic items. Although they have similar properties with the toxic one, corn plastic is manufactured from biodegradable and regenerative corn starch polymers.
Therefore, it makes a safer plastic option for us.
2. Why Is Cornstarch Good for Bioplastics?
Because its starch has an ideal amylose characteristic which is strong enough for plastic alternatives. According to scientists, the amylose content in starch is an important characteristic for bioplastics production as it is responsible for gelatinization and retrogradation, which are required during film formation.
Furthermore, because starch can swap out petroleum-based polymers for natural ones, it can be utilized to lessen the carbon footprint of conventional resins.
3. Why Is Cornstarch Biodegradable?
Since it comes from renewable plant material, cornstarch goods are biodegradable. They are produced utilizing fermented corn starch to create PLA. In fact, PLA polymers are crucially biodegradable for plastic. However, it still needs to be properly disposed of.
4. How Long Does Cornstarch Take to Biodegrade?
Products made using cornstarch plastic have the same look and feel as ordinary plastic but are completely compostable and biodegradable. However, they need a proper composting facility to break down.
In fewer than 90 days, PLA will break down into water and carbon dioxide in a regulated composting setting. Meanwhile, one cup of PLA can take more than six months to decompose in a compost bin that you might have in your backyard, according to PromegaConnections.
Cornstarch Products and Its Advantages
Cornstarch refers to a carbohydrate extracted from the endosperm of corn. This extracted carbohydrate is known as corn flour in the simpler terms. Gladly, scientists found a way of extracting PLA from the fermented corn starch and producing corn starch products out of it.
The corn starch products are gaining popularity these days as these are more environmentally friendly alternatives to the one time use of traditional plastic products. These eco-friendly products have following advantages:
- These products are derived from renewable plant material.
- The production of these products does not emit greenhouse gasses.
- Since bioplastics don’t contain any toxins or dangerous chemicals, burning these products won’t release any harmful gasses.
- The recycling of these products is theoretically possible, if the systems are actually put in place.
- These are compostable under proper industrial composting conditions. According to EcoWorldOnline, when placed in a high humidity composting environment with a temperature above 60°C (140°F), corn plastic packaging or products will begin to break down after two months.
What Are The Disadvantages of Cornstarch Products?
The rate of biodegradation and composting is the major drawback of corn plastic products. PLA needs to be disposed of at a composting facility because it is made of plants. Here are some disadvantages of cornstarch plastic goods you should know:
- Composting is not the ideal technique of disposal because it results in the production of methane, a greenhouse gas.
- Compost made with corn starch polymers makes soil more acidic.
- Additional worries regarding the GMO controversy arise from the fact that polylactic acid and corn plastic are frequently manufactured from genetically modified corn.
- The usage of corn raises ethical concerns because there are many starving people in the globe.
How Do You Make Biodegradable Plastic From Starch?
Do you know that you can make your biodegradable plastic film from starch in your kitchen? Well, simply follow these simple steps!
- Start by putting a cup of each, in equal parts, of cornstarch and water into your baggie.
- Then, add a teaspoon of vegetable oil and a few drops of food coloring if desired Next, properly close the baggie.
- And once everything has been thoroughly combined, mash, smash, and massage the baggie. Place the baggie on a plate, cut a hole in one corner to allow steam to escape, then microwave the item.
- Microwave your baggie for around 25 seconds. Wait for the baggie to cool for around a minute.
- Remove your cornstarch plastic after the baggie is cool to the touch, then mold it whatever you like!
Plastic is a polymer, which are essentially long-chained molecules. The heat in the baggie is dissolving the molecules of the oil and cornstarch. The extremely long chains of a polymer are formed once they are mixed!
Some of Cornstarch Products
Some of the products made from corn starch include Round Tray, round bowl, rectangular and square tray. These simple eco-friendly products are a viable alternative to the toxic plastic items as they promote environmental sustainability.
1. Round Tray: Cornstarch
Round tray cornstarch are biodegradable and compostable products. While these round trays may look similar to the plastic plates, they are made from PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) that is extracted from Corn starch. These trays are ideal for serving food during picnics, pot lucks and house parties.
2. Rectangular and Square Tray
Rectangular and square tray made from corn starch is a feasible and healthy alternative to the paper and plastic trays. By using them, one can effectively contribute to conserving Earth’s environment and keeping it healthy.
3. Round Bowl: Cornstarch
These eco-friendly, compostable and biodegradable round bowls made from corn starch are non-toxic and healthy. Round bowl cornstarch can be used to serve stuff such as soups at homes, cafes and restaurants.
The invention of cornstarch based products has become the great choice to reduce the plastic usage and protect the planet from harmful materials. Although the disposal technique still becomes the main issue, this biodegradable material is still the safer and sustainable option to petroleum-based plastic. In addition to changing your plastic material, you may also use reusable food storage containers for a better environment.
In order to save our planet Earth, the only paradise we ever need, we must shoulder the responsibility of conserving its natural resources. Let us take the pledge of leaving the Earth as a clean and green planet for the generations to come.
“Say no to toxic products and yes to Eco-friendly Cornstarch products!“
Together we can make the difference.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are corn straws better than plastic?
Yes, they are! Straws made of corn starch biopolymers are superior than plastic and more affordable than paper. So, cornstarch based straws are a fantastic environmentally friendly substitute for plastic straws.
Is corn plastic good for the environment?
If we compare it with petroleum-based plastic items, this is definitely an eco-friendly option. Its manufacture requires less energy and emits roughly two-thirds fewer greenhouse gasses than the production of petroleum plastic. Additionally, corn plastic has “the most alternatives” to landfilling of any plastic, since it may be recycled, composted, or burned.
Are cornstarch bags environmentally friendly?
Yes, they definitely are! In fact, cornstarch bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Cornstarch-based plastic bags can be used as a carbon-neutral, biodegradable alternative to plastics.
Are cornstarch containers recyclable?
Yes, cornstarch containers are recyclable. Besides, resources are abundant, making it simpler to use this type of packing material efficiently and over time. Cornstarch containers are not only recyclable, but also biodegradable. PLA material is eventually degraded by microbes into carbon emissions since it is created from plant-based components.