a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another case of the corn cup

Corn Cups, originally uploaded by cote.

A popular gardens and greenhouse in Pittsburgh is banning commercially sold bottled water from its property in a move to become more earth friendly.

The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, instead, is now serving cold beverages in “eco-friendly” compostable cups molded from corn that look and feel just like plastic. The addition of corn into the plastic makes the cups disappear in to the dirt 47 days after they are thrown away in special sites and worked over like compost. The breakdown doesn’t work in a traditional landfill.

When the remodeled Phipps opened in 2005, its management made the move to sell only water bottled locally to cut down on the cost of shipping and help shrink its carbon footprint. But that wasn’t good enough for the tourist destination that strives to be a model of sustainability, its executive director Richard V. Piacentini stated in a Monday news release.

If you don’t care to drink from a corn cup, Phipps is selling reusable bottles for filtered water.

I’m thinking that it might be a good idea to quench your thirst before arriving there on your next visit because the corn is sent through a chemical reaction before it becomes a cup.

The corn kind will melt and gobble up if you make the mistake of tossing them into a dishwasher. And some folks are worried about the cups consuming yet more of the nation’s corn supply.

Meawhile, some bottled water companies have joined this trend to sell products in containers made with this scary sounding polylactic acid resin over fears that traditional plastics leech into the drinking water on grocery shelves.

Whatever happened to drinking water from a glass and then wiping it clean with some soap and warm water to use again?

1 comment:

Randi L. Ross said...

Scott, thanks for putting the plug at the TOP of your blog! You're a great friend. Keep up the good work.