Making BioPlastics, Environmentally Friendly Plastics





Introduction: Making BioPlastics, Environmentally Friendly Plastics

This is my first instructable so please try not to criticize to harshly.

BioPlastics are plastics that can be made out of common household products.
These are to the environment in that they contain no petroleum unlike usual plastics such as tupperware etc. Also instead of taking about 100 years to fully decompose it only takes about 7.

There are probably other instructables about BioPlastics out there, but I made some for a school project so I decided to make an Instructable

Step 1: Ingredients

Here are the ingredients that I used...

-Corn starch
-vegetable/Canola (Optional)
-Wax Paper (optional)

You will also need a microwave.
And measuring tools

Step 2: Mixture

The Ratio I mixed with was 1 part corn starch and 1 part water. Feel free to change this based on the use of your plastic.

For a more rigid plastic, add more corn starch.
For a more flexible/ squishy plastic add more water.

I mixed them in a sandwich bag.

If you want to add in some vegetable or canola oil (I used canola) and it will help keep it together a little bit
for every 2 cups of MIXED water and corn starch I added 1 tablespoon of oil. But of course you can change this based on your intended use of the plastic.

Make sure to get all the bumps of corn starch out you want it to be completely dissolved
It should look a bit like milk.

Step 3: Microwave the Mixture.

For a mixture totaling 2 cups (1 cup water and 1 cup corn starch) I nuked it for about a minute.

This of course could change based on the wattage of your microwave. I believe that mine is some wheres around 1000 to 1400 watts (ya i know thats pretty broad).

If your not sure how long to keep it in for just watch it until it turns to a solid yellow color.

The longer it is in the less flexible it will be but be careful not to leave it in to long or it will become very brittle and crumbly.


Step 4: Molding It

Congrats you have just made BioPlastic. But wouldn't it be cool if you could make shapes out of it or even containers ?!?!?

What I did was I put a cookie cutter on some wax paper then poured in the BioPlastic mixture before I cooked it. When i realized that it was leaking a little I just put some tape around it and it was fine.

If you really wanted to get creative you could make a mold out of a microwaveable safe material (fired clay) and you could make some pretty neat containers.

Step 5: Yay You're Done

Well done you now know how to contribute to the environment by making plastics that do not harm the earth. Happy Earth week! and don't forget to vote!


This particular batch turned out to be more of a rigid gel type material.
If I had added just little more corn starch and kept in the microwave longer then it would have been more like a hard plastic.

Also once it dries completely you can run it under water without it falling apart, but I would not put it in the dishwasher.

2 People Made This Project!


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what is it intended for

can you substitute corn starch with other fruit starch example, papaya starch? will it still work?

I made it! (i'll post it soon). Also, could you make plastic bags with it?

I made some with a lot of cornstarch and 1:35 in the microwave. It turned out kind of brittle on the outside, but nice once you remove the dry pieces of cornstarch. You could make a phone case out of this if you molded it and then covered it in vinyl. I've tried other guides and they said to put a 1:1.5 mix of cornstarch to water and 30 seconds in the microwave, but it turned out as a really jelly material. I may experiment with different mixes to find the best and rigid material. The mix i have now is very indestructible against blunt force (i just threw some down the stairs, didnt break at all).

Also, about how dense is this plastic and how strong is it without some kind of scaffolding?

Is it okay to add fiberized corn silk and husk?

lile by pouring it and then smoothing it out over a surfboardcore

do think this could be used for the shell of a surfboard?

thanks! I'm going to use this for my quad copter base

first, This looks AWESOME, also, what would the substitute time be for a convection oven (regular oven) (i don't have a microwave, sad, I know). BTW, how hard is the plastic when cooked (comparisons).

1 reply

I wouldn't use a conventional oven... The transfer of heat in an oven heats the outside much quicker than the inside. This will cause all sorts of mayhem with the shape and can cause it to basically rip itself in two :(

I really need to know if there would be side effects when i add shrimp shells, please do help me.

1 reply

Did you ever try it? My guess is that the chitin in the shells would make it harder but probably more brittle... Please let me know if you tried this, I'm curious now

Great idea for my 1st year students (secondary school, age 15). Majbe we could use aslo food dyes for more attractive products?

I made a bio plastic similar but with vinigar and gluconate it stayed a gel. For a day and I through it away. Did I just need to wait longer?