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Re: [greenyes] Bio-based plastics

Help me out.

What do they currently do with the parts of the corn plant other than the fruit (i.e. ears)? My guess is that for that which is fed to cows, the entire plant is ground up for feed. For other uses, such as corn on the cob, what do they do with the rest of the plant? Could it be that plastics could be made from part of the corn plant that is currently treated as waste?

Anybuddy from corn country?

Anybuddy know what they do with the entire plant?

Look forward to your responses.

Mike Morin

----- Original Message ----- From: "amy perlmutter" <amyperl@no.address>
To: "greenyes" <greenyes@no.address>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 2:49 PM
Subject: [greenyes] Bio-based plastics

I don¹t believe that just because a plastic is plant-based, it is any more
biodegradable than making it out of petroleum (animal based) inputs. I think
degradability depends on the chemical composition of the plastic as well as
the environment it is in. I¹m not a chemist but I think you can create the
same chemical chain to make a specific type of plastic out of a number of
things (oil, plants) and the plastic is still the same. I think we need a
plastics engineer to weigh in on this. I¹ll try to check with someone; I
suggest others do as well.

The benefit to using plant based materials is that they are renewable, and
there are (hopefully) fewer environmental impacts to growing and harvesting
plants and transforming them into plastics than there are extracting and
converting oil.

From: D Hughes [mailto:djhughes@no.address]
Sent: Monday, November 29, 2004 10:26 PM
To: Jenny Gitlitz; greenyes
Cc: Maine, Bruce
Subject: Re: [greenyes] Plastic from corn?

There are two major advantages that corn- or soy-based plastics have over
their petroleum-derived counterparts. First, they are renewable. Second,
they are biodegradable. The consequences of these two advantages, taken
together, are immense: growing corn does not contribute to global warming,
to anywhere near the extent that petroleum does; nor does it create a waste
product which, unless incinerated, lasts virtually forever. Plastic litter
is the most commonly seen pollutant in the world's oceans, and has led to
the death of untold numbers of marine wildlife. That in itself should be
reason to make the switch.
Don Hughes

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