A new line of plastic eating utensils from the Dutch firm De Ster uses potato starch as the basic polymer. This application of potato starch to replace plastic is the result of a collaboration between the German firm BIOTEC (for raw materials) and Dutch manufacturer of disposables plastic worldwide, De Ster.
This is the first time potato plastic has been used in a product which replaces conventional plastic. De Ster has replaced standard plastic ware with an ergonomical, high-tech, high-design product.
Potato starch is a biopolymer with the same properties as conventional plastics. In the manufacturing process the material can be treated like plastics, for instance subjected to normal injection moulding techniques. With these disposables a biodegradable product made from an agricultural raw material is completely reusable as compost. A new generation of biopolymers which can be recycled into cattle-fodder is currently being developed.
De Ster claims to have a unique product, they should watch out for
start up Spudware, a line of Potato based cutlery from Excellent
Packaging and Supply in Richmond CA. Their Spudware uses the same basic potato to plastic process - albeit without the designer flair.
Or maybe they should be watching out for you! Check out this DIY project (pdf) where you can extract
starch from potatoes and make it into plastic in your own home.
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