Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in the US and its Horticultural Research Institute are working together to develop new biodegradable bioplastic pots for plant nurseries.
Agricultural by-products such as poultry feathers, egg protein, milk, cheese protein, animal and plant lipids are being processed by researchers and pressed into pot shapes to find the best mix of materials.
The team is developing the pots to replace current non-biodegradable plastic models.
The researchers will also design and build a mould of standard container dimensions to match nursery industry standards, while testing the effects of the bio-based containers on plants and determining their longevity under nursery production conditions.
An ARS statement added: “The pots will also be tested for use in composting as well as their ultraviolet and weather stability during storage.”
The non-exclusive rights to the research will be available to interested nursery industry companies, so the pots can be manufactured quickly.
Source: prw.com June 28, 2006.