Laura Howard, a 29-year-old University of Louisville graphic design student, has created a bioplastic symbol that will be stamped on Cereplast Inc.'s bioplastic products and packaging. Cereplast sponsored the "Make Your Mark" contest, which looked for a design that would help consumers identify bioplastics and differentiate them from the familiar number-in-a-triangle symbols that mark petroleum-based plastics.

Howard's bioplastic symbol was one of 200 final designs chosen from a field of 1,500 entries. Nearly 3 million votes were cast before a panel of judges that included famed industrial designer Karim Rashid and Dr. Gary Anderson, (the inventor of the "recycle" symbol,) made the final call. The bioplastic symbol netted Howard a $25,000 prize and may one day be as ubiquitous as Anderson's triple-arrow recycling symbol.