Cornstarch plastic cups are made from fermented plant starch, especially corn. They are also known as polylactic acid or PLA. They are popular because they are environmentally safer compared to traditional plastics. In countries like China, Ireland, Uganda and South Africa where plastic is banned, cornstarch plastic is considered the best alternative.
The best plastic cornstarch cups are party-friendly while being environmentally sustainable. They are becoming more popular than traditional petroleum-based plastics. Because they are “carbon neutral,” cornstarch plastics reduce fewer greenhouse emissions. They also do not emit toxic fumes when burning.
Advantages of using cornstarch plastic cups
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The most important advantage of using cornstarch plastic cups is that they are more environmentally friendly than traditional plastics. They mainly decompose into carbon dioxide and water. Therefore, they do not produce any toxic gases when burned. Cornstarch cups also have a high tolerance rate because they are easily compostable. They can withstand high temperatures and frost. Cornstarch plastics are very cheap and inexpensive and look a lot like traditional petroleum based plastics.
Disadvantages of using cornstarch plastic cups
Cornstarch plastic cups are biodegradable. However, it also takes a long time for them to completely degrade. Although composting is an effective way to help the environment, commercial composting is the best way to do it. There are few commercial composting facilities worldwide, let alone in the United States. Many companies claim that it takes 80 to 110 days to fully decompose after burning. Other sources state that it takes over 1,000 years for these plastics to naturally decompose in a landfill.
These products must be collected separately from homes and landfills for recycling. Since they cannot be claimed by any conventional means, they must be ordered separately and handled accordingly. Cornstarch plastics are also made from genetically modified corn and not natural plant-based corn. Therefore, there is a huge controversy regarding the production of modified corn and raw corn for purposes other than consumption.
Why are cornstarch cups a good idea?
PLA cups are made from corn starch. That is why they are also called cornstarch cups. PLA cups are an effective product that reduces greenhouse effects and helps you make the environment safer and greener. The corn used to make these cups captured carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to grow. They are very effective in fertilizing the soil after they are composted. They enrich the soil. This minimizes the waste generated. Since they are mostly compostable, most cups end up in a compost field rather than landfills. Furthermore, there is no doubt that cups made from organic materials would be much better than traditional cups made from plastics and oils.
To sum it up
Cornstarch plastics are a viable means of plastics today. PLA cups are used as a conscious eco-friendly choice for various occasions such as picnics, parties, birthdays and many more.
- They come from a renewable source, i.e. corn.
- They are cheap as they are almost similar in price to traditional plastic cups.
- They are safe to use because you don’t have to worry about any explosions, unlike oil crucibles.
- They use 65% less energy than conventional plastics because they are made from corn.
- They do not contain toxins.
- They create less greenhouse emissions than traditional plastics.
- PLA cups are made from genetically modified corn.
- They require commercial composting. There are fewer composting facilities around the world, let alone in the United States.
- PLA cups are derived from corn, so there is a moral issue as many people die of poverty and world hunger.
- It is usually assumed that they go to compost instead of landfills. However, due to lack of maintenance, there is a high chance that they will end up in landfills.
- Composting PLA cups is a complex process. Because many people may not be familiar with the process, they would instead let them into the mainstream recycling process, contaminating the recycling stream.
- Material recovery facilities or MRFs are responsible for sorting and disposing of these PLA crucibles.
- The polymer in PLA cups is acidic in nature. Therefore, composting in large quantities would not be preferred at all.
While PLA or cornstarch cups are indeed an excellent alternative to traditional plastic cups, there are many things to look at. However, if we’re looking for a binary judgment between PLA cups and petroleum-based plastic cups, the former has a much better option because it’s more environmentally sustainable. That’s why PLA cups are a better choice until things get better.
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