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Sep. 21st, 2008

While grocery shopping, I happened across some new "eco friendly" disposable bowls. They look a lot like the styrofoam small bowls that you get in the paper products aisle, the kind you get for parties.

I like the styrofoam or plastic bowls a lot because they work pretty well for things like small portions or little snack bowls for parties or what have you, and they're discardable. Realistically, when I use them at home, I tend to wash them and re-use them for light duty stuff so I feel a little less guilty about tossing away something that's not really going to degrade for a very long time, so the eco-friendly option seemed like a good thing to try.

Earth Shell.

Apparently they're made out of potatoes, corn and limestone. They're microwave save, and "soak proof".

Okay, I think that last phrase might be reaching a bit. I tend to think of "soak proof" as something akin to "dishwasher safe", or "washable", or something like that. In any case, I kind of expected that putting a liquid into the bowl might be okay.

Turns out the bowls dissolve in water. Well, not immediately. There's a surface coating that seems kinda like a thin plastic film, and if it gets punctured, it allows water into the inner "foamy" part, and that dissolves like those cornstarch packing peanuts that look a lot like unflavored Cheetos. Unfortunately, the film is rather easily punctured. Possibly even by passing cosmic rays.

So putting soup into said bowls would be a bad idea.

Just in case you might want to try this on your own.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 22nd, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
What I think funny is the plastic bowls (and plates) at Target that are proudly announced as being "melamine bowls".

Melamine is the chemical involved in that giant dog and cat food debacle last year and the ongoing Chinese baby formula/dairy products scandal. Actually, that's about all it's ever been in the news for.

Melamine resin isn't microwave safe, anyways.

Sep. 22nd, 2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
I used to have a number of Melmac plates. I think I have one that still remains, the rest were victims of microwave abuse and eventually burned and shattered.

Melamine is something that I would gladly use in my concrete work if I could find a supplier that wasn't a direct import from China for freaking truckloads of the stuff. It's what's called a superplasticizer, and makes concrete mixtures pourable without adding moisture. Wonderful stuff.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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