Bioplastics – progress 23 April 2014


I chose to look at bioplastics made from a starch basis. I looked at several different “recipes” for contents and proportions and established some basic ingredients of a starch, vinegar, water and glycerin.

other ingredients


For starches, I looked at different things I had in my cupboard which might produce an interesting result. I had seen a video for corn starch, so I tried that, plus some different gluten free flours I have. I also tried some chia seeds and coconut, as these are things I have used in gluten-free cooking and I thought they might create something.


process presentation 23 April 2014.indd


Some of the materials created a firm plastic-like material very quickly (20-40 minutes after cooking), but others were still very unworkable. The corn starch was the quickest, and then the three flours. After three days, I assessed the results.

process presentation 23 April 2014.indd

In assessing the results, I used criteria partly based on ease of production, but also the resulting material and its workability, strength and translucency. This is based on some kelp lampshades I have seen by Julia Lohmann, where she uses kelp in sheet form and laser cuts the dried strips to form her art.

dezeen_Kelp-hats-and-lampshades-by-Julia-Lohmann_13 dezeen_Kelp-hats-and-lampshades-by-Julia-Lohmann_sq_5


At this stage the most promising starch looks to be the all-purpose gluten free flour from Trader Joe’s. As I don’t know the exact proportions of the flours in this, I will need to experiment further. I have already experimented with the rice, and from my experience in cooking with tapioca starch, it creates good pliability and translucency, so I think this may explain part of this flour’s success.

I also want to better understand the interaction of other ingredients and manipulate the proportions, as none of the materials I produced is yet strong enough to withstand even gentle wear and tear.

74 thoughts on “Bioplastics – progress 23 April 2014”

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