One of the great things about having a site like Green Living Tips is I get to try out all sorts of very interesting products – such as a corn chopping board.
No, not a cutting board made for corn, although you can certainly use it for that – this board is *made* from corn and was kindly sent to me by Mr. DoJin Jung, Vice president of Eco Mass Korea; the company that produces them.
The material used in the cutting board is called Ecol Green PLA (polylactic acid), which is a lactic acid polymerized after corn starch fermentation. While PLA has been around for more than 100 years, it has only been of commercial interest recently due to its ability to biodegrade.
Ecol Green PLA can be used as a substitute in injection moulding processes that usually use synthetic resin such as Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, Polycarbonate and others; which are all derived from petrochemicals. It can be used in a diverse range of products such as household electronics, appliances, tableware, kids products and more.
Ecol Green PLA is free of environmental nasties such as VOCs, Bisphenol and and Phthalates. If they are burned, there are none of the toxic gases associated with normal petro-chemical based plastics.
So can you eat it? According to Eco Mass Korea, it’s not what you call tasty, but the board is edible; although I’m not going to try eating mine.. not today anyway; however I have been known to eat much stranger and probably even less palatable things :).
Unlike regular plastic cutting boards that will be with us for centuries, the Eco Mass Korea board contains zero harmful substances and will decompose in favorable conditions for micro-organisms, such as a compost heap.
For sanitary purposes, it is also better to have separate kitchen boards for vegetable and meat/fish – so instead of needing two, the EMK corn board is double sided – one side is surrounded by grooves for vegetables and the reverse side is for cutting fish and meat.
Eco Mass Korea also produce a range of tableware and toys made from corn based PLA. While you can’t buy the cutting boards direct from the Eco Mass Korea site, if you’re interested in purchasing one, or in the case of green businesses in purchasing large quantities, you can contact Mr. Jung through the Eco Mass Korea web site or via firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.