Indiana public employees and visitors to the Government Center's cafeterias will now be eating and drinking out of bio-based plastic containers made from Cereplast compostable resins.
As of Monday, biodegradable and compostable cold-drink cups and containers are being used on the salad bars in both the cafeterias of the Government Center. Cafeteria customers will not see a price increase due to the switch.
"Working with the Group to transition our Government Center cafeterias from petroleum-based plastics to corn-based plastics, makes sense both economically and environmentally," said Phillip Giddens, director of Indiana's Greening the Government program.
"As more and more consumers and businesses look for economical ways to make positive environmental choices, demand for corn-based plastics like those from Cereplast will continue to increase," said David Gottbrath, chair of the Indiana Corn Marketing Council's New Uses Committee and a farmer from Pekin, Indiana.
"This is a great example of the kinds of innovations that are possible when government, private industry and Indiana's corn farmers partner and collaborate," he said.
"Through the Indiana corn checkoff, we - as corn producers - are excited to help market and promote the use of corn-based plastic in the Government Center," said Gottbrath.
Headquartered in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, California, Cereplast manufactures two families of plastic resins based on biopolymers and mixtures of plant starches.
Its Cereplast Compostables product line, certified as biodegradable and compostable in the United States and Europe, replaces 100 percent of the petroleum-based additives found in traditional plastics with renewable, plant-based starches.
Its Cereplast Hybrid Resins replaces half or more of the petroleum-based content in plastic resin with bio-based compounds such as cornstarch or tapioca starch.
"Cereplast is exactly the kind of business that we're most interested in attracting. A unique company like this that has market-changing possibilities and the potential for rapid growth is a big win for Indiana," said Governor Mitch Daniels last December, when the Cereplast investment was announced.
Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast, said, "After a long search we decided to settle down in Indiana for this facility, in the heart of the Midwest, where we have easy access to our raw materials allowing us to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations by reducing transportation lines."