Michael Lehto | 12/02/08 @ 4:50pm
I just received my new "Corn Plastic" mug from the recent WCPN fund drive and found myself wondering about this stuff. It's touted as being much greener than traditional plastic, and, of course, one can see the benefit of not having the massive inputs of petro-chemicals needed to make traditional plastic (this stuff is made purely from sugars derived from corn). It's supposed to be bio-degradable. But a quick search reveals that it needs 140 degrees consistently for 10 days, which most back-yard composting heaps can't sustain. Corn also takes a lot of petro-inputs to grow and harvest, and the increase in corn-based fuel has created tremendous controversy about the dramatic rise in food prices. So throwing yet another commodity into corn's court seems a little dubious. Are there any potential toxic additives to corn plastic that can leach out under the high heat of a microwave or boiling water? Anyone out there know much about this stuff?