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Now here's something happy for rainy days: the Spud Raincoat, made from potatoes and designed by the guys from Good for Environment! Under the brand name EquilicuÃ¡, they make thought provoking products such as the Econo, a water saving device for potted plants. The Spud Raincoat is for times when plenty of water is falling from the sky, and will definitely cheer you up on a grey day. The coat educates every by-passer on bioplastics by telling them "I was a potato". And indeed, this waterproof coat is made entirely of bioplastic derived from potato starch and other natural resources, which makes it a 100% biodegradable and compostable product. And to give it the final touch at the end of its product life, the coat has integrated seeds so that plants grow out of it once it is returned to the earth!How to plant a raincoat
A small clay ball, integrated into the raincoat, houses the seeds. That way the user can plant the coat when it's no longer needed. The Spud Raincoat reinforces the concept of closing the loop, by not only returning entirely to the biosphere, but by also nourishing the seeds to grow into new plants. This technique to protect seeds in a clay ball is called "Nendo Dango", and was invented by the Japanese mircobiologist Masanobu Fukuoka.
Since the raincoat is a local product from Spain, the seeds are Mediterranean herbs, flowers, trees and bushes. In collaboration with the MÃ¡s Ãrboles Foundation, the clay balls are made in their local workshops. All in all, the product is made in the European Union: produced in Spain with German bioplastic made out of more than 20 varieties of French potatoes.
Spud Raincoat in action
During its life, the Spud Raincoat also does an important job at educating people about this type of biodegradable plastic, and the importance of knowing how to recognise and differentiate between others that are not. The product educates about climate change and oil dependence in a fun way. The quirky graphics (see below) definitely make it a looker. If you are worried about the life span of the Spud raincoat, don't! It only starts biodegrading under very specific conditions, not with the first heavy rain.
Look out for compostability and biodegradability guarantees
EquilicuÃ¡ warn us to be sure that the bioplastic products we buy have the correct symbols, as some traditional plastics with additives (oxodegradables) are incorrectly labelled as "biodegradable", but are not compostable. In that case the plastic disintegrates while its harmful components go into the earth. The label "OK COMPOST" (see top image) guarantees that both material and additives respect the environment by turning into fertiliser.