Biodegradable plastics: Plant symbol chosen as icon


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The bioplastics industry may have a new symbol to slap on its products and packaging – an abstract plant to denote plastics made without petroleum.

More than 1,500 designers submitted entries into a contest seeking an icon to represent plastics created using potatoes, corn, wheat, tapioca, sugar, algae and other natural materials.


The competition, backed by El Segundo bioplastics maker Cereplast Inc., was inspired by the 1970 contest that produced the image of three green arrows now ubiquitously as the emblem of recycling.

Cereplast’s founder and chief executive Frederic Scheer also founded the Biodegradable Products Institute and is chairman of the Bioplastics Council of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

Laura Howard, a graphic design student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, nabbed the $25,000 grand prize. Her symbol looks a bit like the insignia found on Eva, the robot sent to look for plant life on a future, wasted version of Earth in the Pixar film Wall-E.

The entry was chosen by a panel of judges after 2.8 million public votes helped narrow down the field to 200 submissions.

RELATED: Wasteful packaging: Do consumers care?

-- Tiffany Hsu