Making Plastic From Plants

By: Jill Cordes
By: Jill Cordes

Plastic packaging. It keeps stuff air-tight and convenient for transport and storage. But petroleum based plastics can last for centuries. Now, there's a new way to make the first fully compostable chip bag with a little help from Mother Nature.

Tony Knoerzer, from Frito-Lay: "One of the most interesting developments that you see today is renewable packaging materials. Those are materials where the plastic is sourced from a plant-based material."

Companies like WalMart are now using bio-plastics in more than a hundred-million produce containers. Compared to using traditional plastics, plastics made from plants help reduce greenhouse gas emissions every year.

Brad Rodgers, from Frito-Lay: "This is a little litter box project. We can start studying how our biodegradable packaging will actually biodegrade in a natural, open environment, just like someone might have littered something in an open field."

And Frito Lay's Sun Chips line plans to introduce the first fully compostable chip bag of its kind in 2010.

Pike Research released a study that says one third of all packaging materials will be eco-friendly by 2014.


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