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Japan Cornstarch and Michigan State University launch joint research on biodegradable plastic

Comprehensive starch manufacturer Japan Cornstarch (Minato Ward, Tokyo; Soichiro Kurachi, President) has partnered with Michigan State University in the United States to jointly conduct research on biodegradable plastic made from cornstarch-based biomass. 

Biodegradable plastic made from biomass is a plant-based material that can be broken down by microorganisms. Because it can be designed such that the end products of biodegradation are water and carbon dioxide, it is a safe and environmentally friendly product. The polluting of the ocean with plastics has become a global problem in recent years, leading to calls to eliminate disposable drinking straws and regulate the use of plastic shopping bags. Against this backdrop, the shift toward biodegradable materials has become an urgent issue.

Responding to this anti-plastic movement, Japan Cornstarch has launched a partnership with Michigan State University to develop a new type of biodegradable plastic. The project aims to develop a biodegradable plastic that is more versatile, functional, and suited to present-day needs than currently available products by taking advantage of the unlimited potential of cornstarch.

In addition, the company is actively pursuing licensing and technological partnerships for its own patented production technology for starch-based biodegradable plastics developed in the past: 
- Patent Number 2939586: Starch ester
- Patent Number 3154056: Starch-substituted derivatives
- Patent Number 4601111: Production method for a biodegradable model 
- US Patent Number 7517924 B1: Starch ester blends with linear polyesters

After many years of research, Japan Cornstarch succeeded in developing a patented cornstarch-based plastic called Corn Pole. Corn Pole is marketed for a wide range of applications, from ballpoint pens to agricultural mulching films to paints. Through technological collaboration, Japan Cornstarch believes it is possible to advance the biodegradable plastic industry and contribute positively to our global environment. 

[For press inquiries]
Person in Charge
Ms. Sakakibara、Mr. Hiromoto
Japan Corn Starch Co., Ltd. 
TEL: 0566-42-3138/FAX: 0566-48-2479