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Plantic: Plastic you can eat

| Thursday December 20th, 2007 | 5 Comments

plantic_logo.gifA few years back, as a student at the sustainability focused MBA program at Presidio, we were doing a project to create a mock proposal/presentation to Ghirardelli Chocolates on how we saw them introducing an organic, fair trade line. My component was the packaging. At the time I recommended Plantic, an organically based, biodegradable plastic that was currently being used in Cadbury candies for the tray.
It was an amazing material, capable of dissolving when in contact with water, effectively eradicating the issues that arise when someone chooses to throw out, rather then recycle, plastics. Not merely turning into smaller, still toxic molecules, as petro based plastics are known to do, this begins, and ends, as benign, organic, even edible material.
So it was a pleasure last week, when I was interviewing Jason Wachob of Crummy Brothers Cookies for Ecopreneurist, that after I recommended they look into Plantic for their packaging needs, I checked into what they’re up to, and found that things have expanded quite a lot for them, to a broad range of executions and uses.


They practice what they call, “Responsible Science.” Not two words you typically see together. As Grant Dow, CEO of Plantic puts it:

Plantic is part of a global commercial movement committed to a new kind of profitability, where technological intelligence and dedicated business management can deliver simply better results all around. Not just better results for the shareholders of one corporation for one year, but better results for the world that makes the existence of business and enterprise possible. That’s what we mean by Responsible Science.”

Heartening words indeed. And what of their actions?
Today it seems they’ve branched out, and it’s possible, or soon will be, to use their material for cling wrap, flushable personal care products (enough said) and from the sounds of it, bottles. In addition, there’s “injection molding resin”, which according to Wikipedia, can include such things as car parts, entire panels, bottle caps, and outdoor furniture. One would hope that the water dispersability of their other products wouldn’t be in effect in these applications!
In any case, kudos to them for being part of the solution.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. His overarching talent is “bottom lining” complex ideas, in a way that is understandable and accessible to a variety of audiences, internal and external to a company.


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  • Anonymous

    But throwing away a biodegradable substance does not mean it will compost, at least according to the Waste articles I loved written by Lexington Blood on this site.
    Without smarter ways of waste disposal, what’s the point to biodegradable materials that end up in terribly inefficient municipal waste streams???? I think the problem lies far deeper than simply products that take “supposedly dispose of themselves!

  • freddyzdead

    Anonymous above obviously didn’t take the trouble to do a bit of research into Plantic, to realize that the difference is exactly that these products DO compost completely, leaving no trace.
    What might be a concern is what happens if these materials get into the plastic recycling chain. A bit of Plantic in the PET vat might ruin the whole batch, mightn’t it?

  • Tony

    However, PET is typically washed during the recycling process, Plantic will be disolved.

  • Anonymous

    what about the fact that using corn as a source is unsustainable for the same reasons biodiesel can be unsustainable? Putting resources into growing this corn for production of this product is not sustainable, and I did not see anything on the website refuting this point.

  • Anonymous

    Using corn starch will deprive people who hunger all around the world of food. If the corn starch of which Plantic is made would be given to the people who hunger, wouldn’t it be easier to recycle then, as we have more people who can recycle then?