Last June I met Jay Cousins (twitter), a “maker” and member of the collective Open Design City based in the Betahaus in Berlin, who is experimenting with home-cooked bioplastics and different products that can be derived from them. Jay and his group follow the philosophy of Open Design*.
At DMY 2010, the international design festival that took place in Berlin from June 9 to 13, Jay demonstrated how simple it is to produce bioplastics from a basic recipe using corn starch, vinegar, glycerin and water (recipe and instructions area available on this online community). The result is a bioplastic sheet that can be cut, sowed or joined together using several different methods.
“If you understand the material, essentially you can create anything” Jay Cousins
I was attracted by the idea of making a conference greener by replacing the plastic badge holders like the one shown the the left with a bioplastic version that would have a lower impact on the environment.
Jay discusses some issues and possibilities like scalability, raw materials, cost and ideas to make this kind of product in the near future.
* From Wikipedia: Open design is the development of physical products, machines and systems through use of publicly shared design information. The process is generally facilitated by the Internet and often performed without monetary compensation. The goals and philosophy are identical to open source, but reside in a different paradigm