Target has introduced a new version of their bioplastic gifts cards. The cards are made with a corn-based material called Mirel from Metabolix. This bioplastic is said to biodegrade more readily than rival materials and, unlike others, it can break down in a backyard compost bin. The Sustainable Is Good blog has a nice photo of the cards degrading after being in a compost for 40 days. The gift cards are currently only available at 129 Target stores nationwide.Metabolix is talking with potential clients about dozens more applications for Mirel, from razor blade handles to a coating for disposable coffee cups.
There is a serious problem with corn-based bioplastic though. It comes from conventionally-grown corn which involves the use of many pesticides and artificial fertilizers.