With the help of research supported by corn checkoff dollars, corn-based materials like bioplastics and fabrics are a reality today. In fact, they are turning up in more and more places – compostable tableware, food containers, drink cups, gift cards, snack chip bags, bedding, carpet, shirts and more. All of these products are made from renewable corn and directly replace products made from petroleum.
NatureWorks LLC, based in Blair, Nebraska, is one of the companies that makes raw materials for all these products. Others include Mirel Bioplastics (owned by ADM and Metabolix) and DuPont Tate & Lyle BioProducts.
Researchers are learning that almost anything that can be made from a barrel of oil can be made from corn. That means corn is replacing petroleum to make thousands of products more environmentally friendly, including paint, paper products, glues, toothpaste, cleaners, fireworks, chemicals and laundry dryer sheets.