TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Potato Crates

TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Potato Crates - It takes about 100 years for a plastic bag - that scourge of the environment - to degrade. But could the humble potato save us from ecological Armageddon?

by JAMES WOUDHUYSEN, James@Woudhuysen.com
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It takes about 100 years for a plastic bag - that scourge of the environment - to degrade. But could the humble potato save us from ecological Armageddon?

Potatopak of Henstridge, Somerset, believes that bags, sachets and cartons made of potato starch could replace many plastic containers. It already supplies Sainsbury's with compression-moulded food packaging that's entirely made of spuds, and it makes trays for fish 'n' chip shops.

The main ingredient is a by-product of the potato processing industry, and Potatopak's cups, lids and bowls are biodegradable and compostable. They're as rigid as polystyrene, offer better insulation and can withstand hot liquids and microwave ovens.

Printed with non-toxic inks, they're even edible.

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