[GRRN] "Natural" Plastic

From: RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Date: Tue Jan 11 2000 - 12:09:28 EST

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    According to the 1/11/00 Wall Street Journal, Cargill and Dow are "ready to
    launch full-scael commercial production of a new kind of 'natural plastic'
    made from plants, sucha s corn or wheat, instead of petroleum....[said to
    be] a cost efficient way to make durable platic from the natural chemicals
    in common plants." Prior efforts in this direction have been to expensive
    to be commercial, they claim. The name of the new plasitc is polylactide
    or PLA and is said to closely resemble PET or polyester and be
    biodegradable and usable in fottd containers, as well as textiles. "For
    labeling purposes,the company is petitioning the federal trade regulators
    to classify PLA as a whole new category of plastic.

    Does anyone have any information about this effort, especially as to
    whether it truly has any serious potential to be used as container
    material, and, if so, its impacts on recycling programs relative to any
    environmental benefits.

    Peter Anderson
    RecycleWorlds Consulting
    4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
    Madison, WI 53705-4964
    Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011

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