Tom's of Maine is a business with a social mission of being environmentally sustainable, and as such they are researching the viability of using potato starch packaging. Specifically, they are looking to use non-genetically modified, below food-grade potatoes, which means they would normally be considered waste. While potatoes are the largest commodity in Maine's agricultural industry, similar technology could be applied to a variety of other waste products, especially wood, waste paper, sugar corn, grass and grain.
This will not only cut down on millions of potatoes thrown away each year, but will also serve as a more sustainable packaging solution. However, since Tom's of Maine is a personal care company, they face a unique set of challenges as their products are often kept in high-humidity areas like bathrooms. This does present an exciting opportunity for other sectors, like the food service industry. Tom's of Maine remains enthusiastic and optimistic about potato starch packaging technology.