Small things can have big impacts. Every year over 10 billion plastic pens worldwide are thrown out and end up in landfill. In Australia alone, over 140 million pens are sold annually, with the majority discarded after a single use and ending up as long-term problematic waste. This results in around 700 tonnes or 1100 cu metres of plastic waste being dumped in local government landfill sites across Australia.
Now there's a better alternative: the use of plant-based plastic substitutes. The Cornstarch Pens are made by a variety of manufacturers in the EU and China from Mater-Bi or PLA (Polyactide – a polymer made from Lactic Acid which is fermented from dextrose from cornstarch) and other revolutionary biodegradable materials made from cornstarch. The biodegradability of the pen body can be compared to cardboard when composted, and there are no toxic or metal residues. Longer life products such as rulers and luggage tags can also be made from cornstarch and take longer to break down in hot compost conditions.