Bioplastics Made From Potatoes

Potato Plastic is a biodegradable material, made of potato starch. This means that it will decompose to nutrients for the soil in only two months when it ends up in the nature. Potato Plastic can be used for products such as cutleries, straws and saltbags. The fast-food industry has for a long time been characterized by plastic products, since plastic is cheap, hygienic, and light but strong. Though, there is an ambiguity in making these products in plastic since it has the capacity to last for 450 years, whereas the period of use is most commonly around 20 minutes. A large percentage of the plastic that is circulating in our environment comes from the fast-food industry’s products, probably since they are grab and go-friendly. This, in combination with their quality, is devastating for the environment.

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Potato Plastic is consisting of only potato starch and water.  Regarding of how much fluid is poured into a mold, the material can either become a thick, tough piece, or a thin film. This material is a kind of thermoplastic, which means that it can be molded under compression when it is exposed to heat and moisture. This opens up for many design possibilities, regarding everything from product selection to detailed patterns on the surface of the material. Since no extreme heat is needed, the molds can be made of plastic. This decreases the cost significantly compared to if the molds would be made of metal.

Source: https://www.jamesdysonaward.org/

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