Thursday, January 22, 2009

So can I eat it?

I’ve gotten this question a few times now after telling people that our Viv stickers are actually made out of corn (or more specifically Polylactic acid (PLA) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polylactic_acid).
There are some really cool products out there being made from this plastics substitute, and we found a great label manufacturer (that’s what stickers are called in the big leagues…labels) that makes an environmentally-friendly sticker from PLA.
So to the questions of “can I eat it” and if so “how many calories are in a Viv sticker”, I think our official answers need to be “please consume at your own risk” and “not enough to replace a meal”.
Here’s the hard question though – If my credit card expires, I have a Viv sticker on it, and it ends up in a landfill – will the sticker biodegrade? Well, you can’t be sure. PLA is designed to biodegrade in a “controlled composting environment” – essentially a big complex where plant & food scraps are being digested by microbes. Given that the sticker is so thin, it may biodegrade, but to be sure your credit card would also have to be made out of a biodegradable material (check out – www.sustainablecards.com – hopefully coming soon to a bank near you) and you’d have to place the cut up card & sticker in a composting bin.
So feel good about the sticker and let your old PVC card enjoy something that’s a little more all natural…but as always, there’s still a ways to go.