BLACKFOOT, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Across the world, Idaho is renowned for its potatoes. There are plenty of them, and they are used to produce many delicious foods, but our potatoes aren't only good for eating.
The company BioLogiQ discovered they can be also used to create environmentally friendly plastic products.
"Well the goal is to help create a world free of the pollution caused by plastic that gets littered in the environment," said BioLogiQ's founder and CEO, Brad LaPray.
"Most of the world would say 'plastic is not biodegradable look at the landfills, look at the pollution,' well we have hundreds of lab results that would say, yup it's possible," said BioLogiQ's CFO, Micah Scott.
BioLogiQ's NuPlastiQ BioPolymer takes the starch powder from plants and converts it into a plastic resin in pellet form.
"People have been using starch for many many years in a laboratory setting, what BioLogiQ has done is find a way to convert the starch in a commercial setting so you can actually use plants to create plastic and that's never been done before," said Scott.
According to BioLogiQ, globally, 0.4% of the weight of all potatoes grown is turned into starch that is not used for human consumption.
"Here in Idaho, we have a hundred million pounds of excess starch from potatoes," said Scott.
The pellets are then used to make a variety of plastic products such as films, bags, bottles, automotive parts, toys, and so much more, really anything that is made of plastic.
"Currently plastic is made from fossil fuel, and this would shift that to creating plastic from a renewable source," said Scott.
When a plastic product is made with even a portion of NuPlastiQ, lab results have shown that the whole product becomes biodegradable.
"So when you think of that on a global scale, if we've just invented a way to help all plastic biodegrade, that would drastically change the world," said Scott.
BioLogiQ not only uses the starch from potatoes, but also from corn and cassava.
“This is different than most people really realize, plastics is a three trillion dollar business and it affects everything that everybody does. Walk through the grocery store and find something that’s not wrapped in plastic, get in your car and see how many parts are made of plastic, look on your desk and see that all of your electronics are made of plastic, the ways that this can affect the world is just amazing,” said Scott.
BioLogiQ already has offices in foreign countries and plans to continue expanding here in Idaho as well as globally.