Projects list

Bio degradable cassava based packages (05 June 2003)
Kasetsart University (Bangkok)

Over 50 years, plastics and other petroleum based non-biodegradable polymers have been used extensively in many places such as packages. They are cheap and easy to use. However plastic waste is difficult to manage. It does not degrade in land fills, and it generates dangerous toxic gases after incineration.

During the previous decade many countries have recognized the need to reduce the amount of plastic waste. Laws and regulations have been changed or set up to minimize the use of non-biodegradable materials. Attemptes have been made to use bio-degradable materials to replace plastics and foams.

However in the poor countries people are still using plastics and foams as packages. These toxic materials damage our environment, air quality, forests, cities, towns, villages, streets, rivers and canals, health of people and animals constantly.

Naturally available bio-degradable polymers such as starch, protein and cellulose are attractive materials to substitute plastics. Starch is one of the most promising materials because of its low cost, its thermo-processability; and it is available as agricultural surplus raw materials.

Thailand is one of the world's largest producers of cassava or tapioca, the most abundant and cheapest source of bio-polymer: cassava starch.

Kasetsart University started the research work for developing bio-degradable packaging materials from cassava since 1996. They have been successful in producing various types of cassava-based materials for food packaging. These products are called KU-GREEN.

Cassava plate Cassava bowl Cassava lunch box Cassava plate

KU-GREEN Product line
Bio-degradable, disposable food packages made by Kasetsart University from cassava have various sizes and shapes:
  • Soup bowl 600 ml
  • Smal bowl 280 ml
  • Large plate 23 cm
  • Small plate 17.8 cm
  • Big glass (cup) 500 ml
  • Small glass (cup) 250 ml
  • Lunch boxes
Properties of products
  • Major components: cassava, starch, plant fiber
  • Foam-like structure and rigidity
  • Light color and mild odour of raw material
  • Low water absorbency
  • Slightly soften in contact with liquid, but still stable in service
  • Disintegrating into fragments within 24 hours, after immersing in still water
Coffee cup and lunch box Small bowl and plate

  • Ready to eat food, and take away food
  • Unlimited range of foods: dry, semi-liquid, liquid, cold and hot, fatty food, etc.
  • Fast food centers, canteens, catering, hospitals, stadiums, exhibitions and conferences, show, etc.
After the use
It is naturally degradable. It can be used as feeds for livestock.

Where to purchase
These packages are abailable in some national parks of Thailand (for example, Khao Yai national park visitor center) and some shops in Bangkok, or contact the below address.

KU-GREEN Building
Kasetsart University
50 Paholyothin road, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900. Thailand
Phone: +66-2-942 8795, 942 8796, 942 8797
Fax: +66-2-942 8797

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