A delivery of dog food to our house last week had a notice on the outside which said, “Corn Starch Packaging”. I don’t normally read packaging labels, any more than I do instructions that come with the product inside the packaging. However, for some reason, this particular label caught my attention. When I actually read what it said I was curious. When I followed the instructions on the label, I was amazed. I’m not sure where I have been hiding recently but I had never heard of Corn Starch Packaging, and I certainly had no idea it had such amazing properties. Now you may think I am easily amazed but this product is special, at least from the perspective of the cave in which I have been hiding.

     The label said:

“This insulation is

biodegradable

The foam is made of cornstarch

And can safely dissolve in the sink.

To dispose: cut and recycle the

green liner, run the foam under

water. Watch it melt like your heart

when snuggling puppies.”

     I followed the instructions, unusual as I said, and, low and behold, the foam just melted away to nothing as it disappeared down the sink drain. I thought I was seeing things.

     I decided that such a surprise was worth a bit of investigation. What was this stuff, how did it work, and why hadn’t I heard of it before?

     It turns out to be even more special than the initial branding portrayed. It is not only biodegradable, it degrades into water and a little carbon dioxide, it is non-toxic, and you can even eat it with no ill-effect, although that is not recommended.

     Even more surprising is that the U.S. Navy is specifying it as required packaging for many of the products it buys. Why? Because it dissolves in sea water and produces no pollutants.

     It is simple to make, and its production requires little energy. What more could you ask for?

     I tried to find a downside because it simply sounded too good to be true and, sure enough, Corn Starch Packaging does have one drawback. It doesn’t work too well if there is a possibility that the package could get wet! Apart from that, it appears to be a miracle material.

     I must get out of my cave more often!

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