Your mouthwash might soon come in packaging made from potatoes
Among all the delicious foods associated with Maine — blueberries, lobsters … uh, lobsters — potatoes don’t really stand out. But while Maine is no Idaho, it does have a potato-growing industry, and for the past few years, local companies have been looking into the possibility of turning potatoes into plastic packaging. Soon, Tom’s of Maine, which produces all-natural toothpaste and other personal hygiene items, will be making potato plastic packages a reality.
It’s been clear for a while [PDF] that Maine’s potato growers could easily supply a stock of non-edible potatoes that can turn into bioplastic. Apparently, the French and other Europeans are all over this, but in the U.S., we — surprise — only make bioplastic from corn. And it’s GMO corn. So, Maine boosters have been plotting to create potato plastic that will appeal to people who don’t want to use plastic and don’t want to use GMOs, but haven’t got on the just-minimize-your-waste-already train.
All that was left was to find some company to buy into this potato plot. And Tom’s of Maine is actually a pretty perfect match: Tom’s is in Maine, its entire brand is built on appealing to people who might want to avoid GMOs, and now it’s owned by gigantic multinational corporation Colgate, which wasn’t exactly about to give up plastic completely. We just hope toothpaste + potato is a less gross flavor than toothpaste + orange juice.*
* Yes, we know potato bioplastic doesn’t taste like potatoes. Don’t email.
- Tom's of Maine Taps Potatoes for Packaging , Environmental Leader