The use of plant-based plastic and plastic-like materials is one way to help cut down on the use of petroleum-based plastic waste. Who knows -- maybe by using plant-based plastic we could even clean up those marine-life-killing plastic-laden ocean garbage patches.

Plant-based plastic is a growing field of study in materials research. Everything from corn to bacteria is being put to work to help solve the world's plastic problem.

Implications - The eco movement has made a vast segment of consumers aware of how harmful plastics are to the environment. These consumers are equally concerned about the product that they are purchasing as they are about the packaging that it comes in. Companies should consider this mindset.