Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Does Ingeo take away from the food supply?
Answer: If at full capacity, Natureworks Ingeo
uses less than one half of one percent of the available U.S. corn crop.

Question: what part of the corn is used?
Answer: The PLA comes from the kernel of the corn where the starch is removed and then converted in to dextrose (sugar). In the near future, any plant sugar can be used to make PLA, including switch grass and sugarcane that have an even lower environmental impact from needing less water to grow.

Question: Does NatureWorks PLA / Ingeo contain any genetically modified material?
Answer: No. No special crops or modifications are required to produce Ingeo
resin. Corn sugar (dextrose) is used to make Ingeo and the corn is sourced from producers within a 30-mile radius of Blair, NE. NatureWorksPLA has been certified to be free of any genetic material by GeneScan Inc., which is internationally recognized by governments and non-government organizations (NGOs) as the leading authority for testing food, feed and raw materials. NatureWorks PLA does not contain genetic material, and its production does not require any genetic content from field corn.

Question: Can you compost Ingeo in a backyard composter?
Answer: No, Ingeo
should be composted in an industrial facility, which contains the right combination of temperature, moisture and microorganisms.  The bottles will

Question: Will Ingeo melt in extreme heat?
Answer: It is recommended that Ingeo ™be stored at temperatures less than 105F (40C).

Question: Why are plant-based plastics more environmentally friendly than petroleum plastics?
Answer: Bioplastics are much more environmentally friendly than traditional petroleum plastics because they require less fuel and release less carbon dioxide than traditional plastics during manufacturing. Plant-based bioplastics allow us to have less dependence on fossil fuels and helps lower emissions of carbon     dioxide while reducing annual landfill waste by thousands of tons. Biopolymers use 49% less fossil fuel in production than conventional plastics, releasing 75% less greenhouse gases which helps curb global warming.

Question: How long do the bottles take to compost?
Answer: Natures Bottles will completely disappear in 30 - 90 days in an industrial composting facility. Depending on the heat and environment of the facility, the break- down process varies slightly.

Question: Is the cap compostable?
Answer: Not currently. There are companies researching the best way to create a safe cap that is strong enough and will withstand current standards.

Question: Is the label made from PLA as well?
Answer: Yes, the labels can be made from PLA.

Question: Where can I buy this? Is it sold in retail stores?
Answer: Nature's Bottles currently only sells bottles in closed loop scenarios. This means we only sell the bottle where someone can buy it, drink it and dispose of it on the same premises. This ensures us retrieving the bottle back for composting or recycling.

Question: I recycle all of my PET plastic bottles. Isn't that enough?
Answer: We applaud peoples efforts to recycle PET. However the reality is that only 22% of plastic bottles are recycled. In order to make a new plastic bottle from a recycled one, you have to add 80% NEW resin. What does that mean? One plastic bottle can only make 20% of a new one.  100% of our PLA bottles can be made into new bottles, virtually a one for one recycling model.

Question: What sort of patents protect the technology?
Answer: Cargill, the parent company of Natureworks LLC invested more than $750 million in its development as well as a patent portfolio.

Question: What is antimony and what does effect does it have on the body?
Answer: Antimony (Sb) is a catalyst that is often used as Antimony trioxide (Sb2O3) or Antimony triacetate in the production of PET. It remains in the material and can thus in principle migrate out into food and drinks. Although antimony trioxide is of low toxicity, its presence is still of concern. The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health investigated the amount of antimony migration, comparing waters bottled in PET and glass: the antimony concentrations of the water in PET bottles was higher, but still well below the allowed maximal concentrations. (report available in German and French only) The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health concluded that small amounts of antimony migrate from the PET into bottled water, but that the health risk of the resulting low concentrations is negligible (1% of the "tolerable daily intake" determined by the WHO). A later (2006) but more widely publicized study by a group of geochemists at the University of Heidelberg headed by William Shotyk found similar amounts of antimony in water in PET bottles.