Bright, Bold Ideas Sought in Contest to Design Bioplastic Symbol

Bright, Bold Ideas Sought in Contest to Design Bioplastic Symbol

Bioplastic - CC license by Flickr user richardmasoner

Cereplast, a maker of bio-based and compostable plastics, is looking for help in developing a symbol to stamp on bioplastics.

The company will launch a design competition for a bioplastics symbol on Jan. 3, hoping that a common symbol showing if plastics come from non-petroleum sources will help people better understand what's in packaging and hopefully drive purchases of goods in bioplastics.

Another environmental symbol. Just what products need, right? 

In the case of bioplastics, though, there's been a growing need for clearly identifying plastics that were derived from plants, grasses and other bio materials, at least at the end of the products life cycle.

While some companies can tout their bioplastics meld into existing recycling streams without contaminating oil-based plastics, not all can say the same. A dedicated symbol showing that a bottle, container or other packaging materials is bio-based could help recyclers identify what could muck up other recycled materials. If markets for post-consumer bioplastics grow and they become a worthwhile revenue stream, the symbol would also help recyclers sort out bioplastics for reselling.

And on the consumer end, it wouldn't hurt to have a common symbol for showing what can be done with packaging when its disposed of. 

Cereplast's symbol competition is open to U.S. residents, symbol designs must be one color or colorless, and submissions must include three variations of a symbol for identifying general bioplastics, compostability and recyclability.

The deadline is March 4 and the winner will be announced on April 21, the day before Earth Day. More details will be announced when the contest begins.

Bioplastic - CC license by Flickr user richardmasoner