MATERIALS: Biodegradable Bioplastic Composite for Holticultural Uses

Green Dot Bioplastics' latest addition to its full line of biobased compounds is aimed at replacing traditional planters.

A biodegradable bioplastic composite developed as a sustainable replacement to traditional plastic plantable pots or tree and shrub containers is newly available from Green Dots Bioplastics, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. This latest addition to the company’s full line of biobased and compostable compounds sold under the Terratek brand name, is based on a proprietary blend of starch-based polymers reinforced with natural fibers—in this case, wood or corn cobs.

Unlike compostable planters made of paper, peat or cardboard which are absorbent, requiring plants be watered more often due to evaporation, planters made with Terratek BD2114 do not absorb water, retain moisture in the potting soil, and can potentially reduce greenhouse water consumption by as much as 600%. The material is also easily colorable to enhance product differentiation.The company also aimed to develop a material that could compete with other biodegradable bioplastics such as PLA in this application; allowing for molded pots which have higher impact for longer shelf life, are more degradable and less expensive, according to CEO Mark Remmert. Moreover, the company can provide custom formulations of biobased and biodegradable materials to fit a broad range of horticultural applications.