The benefits of biodegradable plastics are generally well known. They are made of renewable resources, like starch or vegetable oil, and can naturally degrade in soil.
Today, using renewable raw materials and available ressources like waste paper is highly relevant. It is an important social task to act sustainable and to develop new material cycles. The implementation of new sustainable materials and ideas promotes a sensitivity, both aesthetically and ecologicaly. PAPERPLAST is one approach that is part of an ever-growing public toolkit that illustrates the need of further development of sustainable and more social materials.
In this lab study, we explored a starch bioplastic that is made of ordinary starch, water, vinegar and glycerin. Cooking these ingredients generates a sticky gel that can be smoothed out to create foils and is suitable for making bioplastic composite materials.
Searching for new possibilities to gain bigger but still lightweight elements out of biodegradable plastic, we added baking soda and paper pulp to the starch bioplastic-mass, poured it into silicone moulds and dried it in the oven. The results are hollow bodies with a high rigidity that are almost weightless. The aeshetic surface-structure looks like foam and of organic ramifications. Foils made out of this mass are thin and translucent with a papery feel. The PAPERPLAST can be glued with bioplastic starch. Thus, any kind of structure can be generated out of the hollow bioplastic bodies.
The preoccupation with bioplastics is a search for alternative options to established industrial materials. Particularly in situations where they are needed temporarily, locally and for short-term, bioplastics could replace unsustainable materials. Having DIY advantages that can be put into practice by everyone, this approach contributes to social and environmental improvements.