Research program brings bioplastic packaging to life

R&D/Leverage’s creativity in mold manufacturing for PET tooling, IBM tooling and Injection molds, as well as unit tool development, testing and validation, is making it possible for Iowa State University (ISU) scientists to develop sustainable horticulture containers – eco-friendly flower pots – in a massive, USDA-funded, multi-institutional research program targeting the $7.12 billion container specialty crop industry.

The goal of the program is to develop a commercially feasible bioplastic container design, an alternative to petroleum-plastic containers that can potentially save $706 million annually, according to the researchers. The industry encompasses bedding plants, fruits and vegetables and containerized shrubs and trees for residential gardening and landscaping. Today, use of rarely recycled petroleum-based containers is virtually universal.

Called “Bioplastic Container Cropping Systems: Green Technology for the Green Industry,” the five-year research program is the largest of its type ever performed, according to Dr. James Schrader, Co-Principal Investigator for the project at ISU. “Bioplastic containers degrade harmlessly when installed with the plant in a garden or landscape,” Schrader said. “Another key benefit of the new-breed green containers is the ability to shift from foreign feedstocks to domestic biorenewables.”

Read the full story from Packing Digest.