Ask Umbra on corn plastic

Posted by Trish Riley, February 21, 2011

PLA is manufactured by agribiz giant Cargill at a plant in Blair, Nebraska. Cargill is a major player in the genetically modified corn market, is apparently the world’s largest grain handler, and operates its PLA product division under the name NatureWorks. The long and short of it is that this “green” plastic is made from GMO corn by one of the largest private companies in the United States, one with a terrible track record on environmental issues. Here is a useful overview of the Cargill-corn plastic connection that our own Tom Philpott penned a few years back. There are actual mini-scandals regarding Cargill and PLA, such as them trying to make a partnership with Patagonia for a PLA fleece. Somehow they neglected to mention the GMO corn behind the whole product.

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