New Zealand's Potatopak is exporting trays, plates, and bowls-all made from potatoes-to Australia and Britain.
The processing starts when potatoes are blasted with water, washed, scrubbed and then cut into pieces. The water is processed through a starch extractor and used to make the plates that are stronger, leak less, are microwave safe, and are completely biodegradable over two-to-five weeks.
After use, the plates can be composted or even fed to pigs. Although the plates are more costly and time-consuming to produce than polystyrene alternatives, the company said it has found people are prepared to pay extra.
The Blenheim-based company is targeting the barbecue/picnic market, catering and cafeteria companies.