Corn Plastics Negatives
The biggest drawbacks regard disposal of corn plastics. As noted, corn plastics will biodegrade, but it will still take hundreds of years. The corn plastics cannot be recycled and must be separated from traditional plastic in recycling containers. In fact, the corn plastic can jam the plastic recycling process and reduce the amount of plastic that is recycled.
Corn plastics retailers like to say the products are compostable, but that is only true for large commercial composting facilities. Corn plastic will just sit in a home hot composter or worm composter. Commercial composting facilities, which are few and far between, instead use microbes to help decompose organic matter.
Corn plastics also present many of the same questions and issues as ethanol. The corn plastics industry is using more cropland to make industrial products rather than food. The World Bank has repeatedly said ethanol and other biofuels are driving up the cost of food and contributing to growing global food shortages.
Finally, corn plastics are typically made from genetically modified corn that is not organic.
Eco-conscious consumers will have to decide if they think the benefits outweigh the costs of corn plastics. The products may still be better than traditional petroleum-based plastics, but there are more eco-friendly alternatives.