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RE: [greenyes] Plastic from corn?


I'm sure the big corporations who mfr bio based plastics are looking to make
bucks - but it's no different than the companies who mfr non-bio based
plastics now. They're not looking to solve environmental or recycling
problems, only to make a few bucks.

One point I want to note is that from what I've noticed most of the
bio-based containers or products so far are NOT bottles (they're tubs or
silverware/etc) so it should be less of a recycling concern since most
programs only accept bottles. By the way, as far as SPI coding - I've seen
bio based cups and clam shell containers which are a #7 (I forget what
letters appear under this number.)

Steve Weisser


-----Original Message-----
From: Anne Peters [mailto:annep@no.address]
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 12:00 PM
To: Matthew Cotton
Cc: Pat Franklin; D Hughes; Jenny Gitlitz; Maine, Bruce; greenyes
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Plastic from corn?


Matthew, a cynic might say the point of bio-based plastics is to make
big bucks for the big corporations who manufacture them, not to compost!
Also, as markets for tradable renewable/greenhouse gas reduction
credits evolve worldwide, there's probably discussion that companies
substituting bio sources for non-renewable sources for plastic
manufacture will own the credits that accrue from that bioplastic,
adding to its value.

Once again, we do have a manufacturer not really too concerned about
end-of-life issues for the products, I note. Without stronger producer
responsibilty laws, stuff like PLA plastics will be a headache for
recyclers & composters and not for the companies who profit from them....

USCC has a session on biobased plastics at its upcoming conference early
next year. Anyone on this list who attends - if you can, please report
out on the discussion there!

Can't remember if these factoids have been mentioned on this thread;
here are some interesting dimensions to this issue:
-- <5% of GMO (genetically modified organisms) corn goes to PLA made by
C-D right now. However, use of GMO for bioplastics and biomass-to-energy
generation is one use some think may be acceptable (as opposed to food
uses of GMO seeds). However, cross-contamination of crops from GMO to
non-GMO is a concern. Apparently 70% of the soy in the US is GMO and no
one can certify (except probably organically grown) that soy in food
products isn't GMO.
-- I believe only about 7% of the world's petroleum goes to plastics
right now, so replacement of petro-derived plastics with bio-derived
plastics isn't going to get us off non-renewable sources right away -
tho every step helps on that front.

Anne Peters
Gracestone, Inc.
Boulder, CO
303.494.4934 vox
303.494.4880 fax







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