Bioplastic derives from renewable resources and it is not that difficult to create, in fact, it can be produced at home as well. Since we made this discovery, we thought it would be nice to share with you the process so you can create your bio-objects.
In this article, we will share the procedure of how to make biodegradable plastic cups. We are talking of bioplastic, specifically a biodegradable plastic deriving from starch. Follow the procedure below to create your own cups, but also bowls and anything you like.
Biodegradable plastic cups procedure
We report the correct procedure to create bioplastic below, the information has been taken from a document of Kohala Center (Sloss,Watters, School Garden Curriculum) [accessible here]. As you will see it is very straightforward and you don’t need any special equipment.
What you need
- 1 tsp vegetable glycerin (available at the pharmacy)
- 1tbsp corn, potato or other starch
- 1 tsp vinegar (5% acidity)
- 4 tbsp water
- Cooking spoon
- Cooking pot
- Hot plate
- Aluminum foil
- Mix 4 Tbsp of water with starch in the cooking pot
- Add 1 tsp vinegar
- Add 1 tsp glycerin
- Mix and turn heat (medium heat). Stir continuously. The mixture should turn from a liquid white mixture to a clear gel consistency. When it begins to bubble it is done, remove from heat immediately to prevent burning
- Spread the gel onto a flat sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil or mold
- Let it cool for one hour and then shape the material to form your cup, you can use a mug to shape it or simply use your hand
- Let cool your biodegradable plastic cup for 24 hours
Done! You can also add some colourant to the solution. This is not the only procedure to create bioplastic, WikiHow shows other two methods, all very easy to make at home.
What is bioplastic?
Bioplastic is a type of plastic which derives from renewable resources, such as starch or cellulose, so it doesn’t derive from petroleum, as standard plastic. This type of plastic has many advantages and is considered the greener alternative to plastic. This plastic is biodegradable, this means that it degrades under some circumstances.
The most common type of bioplastic is PLA or Polylactic Acid which is derived from renewable resources, it is very efficient has it has similar characteristics of the standard plastic, so it’s heavy duty and very resistant, and it can be produced with the equipment that we have already at disposal. It is also relatively cheap to produce and non-toxic, as it mainly derives from renewable resources. This material is also able to withstand very high temperature, up to 110 °C.
This material is biodegradable, this means that it biodegrades through the action of living organism, incredibly ti biodegrades between 6 to 12 months, bioplastic must be recycled in appropriate facilities, as high temperatures are needed.
PLA is used in the medical sector, to produce 3d prints and also in the food industry to manufacture biodegradable bowls and cups. It is efficient as it is suitable for high temperatures.
PLA seems to be the perfect substitute of plastic for its eco-friendly and structural property.
Are you looking to buy disposable tableware made of bioplastic?
Take a look at our biodegradable cups, bowls and cutlery in PLA.