Bioplastics

Items that seem destined for the refrigerator can take another path when things like corn, potatoes, wheat, and cheese are used to make polymers called bioplastics. Whip up your own bioplastic at home or in the lab and learn where you’ll already find these amazing materials in everyday life.

Demonstration

  • Instant Cheese Bioplastic
    Got milk? Make a bioplastic! This demonstration teaches about bioplastics and how to make one, including a recipe/activity to send home with the audience.

Experiments & Activities

Articles & Information

  • Original Spud Raincoat
    Put on a potato and stay dry. Learn about this raincoat made out of potato starch bioplastic. You can even plant it when you’re done!
  • Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Race for Greener Bottles
    Pepsi and Coke have spent years battling it out for supremacy. Now, they’re competing to see who can be greener, faster.
  • What Is the Future of Bioplastics?
    Ever popped open a plant to have a gulp of soda? You might have if you’ve used a bottle made of bioplastic. Learn about the challenges and potential future of plastics made from plant material.
  • What Is Corn Plastic?
    Corn isn’t just for eating anymore—it’s for making polymers too. Find out how bioplastics are manufactured, what they’re used for, and the pros and cons of their use.
  • Green Plastics
    Want to learn about plastics and what makes them green? Wondering what “greenwashing” is and if it’s a good thing? Start here!
  • Seaweed: A Novel Source for Bioplastics
    Look into the latest in materials for making plastics—seaweed.

Videos and Podcasts

(all sites accessed March 2013)