Federal grants are always interesting -- Sen. William Proxmire made a reputation for himself lampooning them with his "Golden Fleece" awards, and newspaper humorist Dave Barry has enjoyed years of material thanks to federal pork projects. I can't help it, but that's the first thing I thought of when I read this story from Maine.biz, a Web site for a Portland, Maine-based business newspaper. The story, "Potato plastics group pushes for R&D support," notes that a group called the Sustainable Bioplastics Council of Maine, made up of manufacturers, agricultural groups, nonprofit organizations and University of Maine researchers, is seeking $1.25 million in federal funds to help commercialize plastics made from potatoes and wood chips. The groups want to use potato starch to make PLA resin. The story notes that supporters polled 1,000 businesses in Maine that use plastic, and "more than 90 percent of the respondents says they would use bioplastics if they were available, and two-thirds says they would pay a premium for plastics made from Maine potatoes." That's an interesting statistic. I wonder how many of those people currently pay a premium for french fries made from Maine potatoes. Perhaps the good folks in Idaho better get their congressional delegation on the phone, pronto.
Federal funds for potato-based plastics?
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