January 6, 2009

Cups of corn in Indiana's Government Center

As of mid-December, Indiana public employees and visitors to the Government Center's cafeterias were eating and drinking out of corn-based plastic containers.

The company behind the products is Cereplast. It has a process to combine various plant starches (corn, wheat, potato and more) to make hybrid plastics that replace their petroleum-based counterparts. In Indiana, the biodegradable and compostable cold-drink cups and containers are being used in both the cafeterias of the Government Center.

(Some of the company's products include PLA, which is produced by Natureworks in Blair...so there's a chance some Nebraska corn has found its way to Indiana government cafeterias.)

According to the company, Indiana's "Greening the Government" program and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council worked together to get the initiative up and running.

"As more and more consumers and businesses look for economical ways to make positive environmental choices, demand for corn-based plastics like those from Cereplast will continue to increase," said David Gottbrath, chair of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council's New Uses Committee and a farmer from Pekin, Indiana. The Indiana Corn Marketing Council will be promoting the use of the new bioplastics (photo).

Greenware is another brand of cups (and more!) that also seems to be showing up in more places, including a coffee shop in Lincoln.

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