U of L Student Wins Bioplastic Design Contest

by Gabe Bullard on April 24, 2011

A University of Louisville student has won a contest to design a symbol for bioplastics. Junior Laura Howard will have an image she created stamped on hundreds of thousands of products

Bioplastics are plant-based plastics. Specifically, they’re plastics that are made with renewable biomass rather than petroleum. They’re biodegradable, increasingly popular and, often times, only identifiable through advertising (when Frito-Lay started making Sun Chips bags out of bioplastics, the company launched an ad campaign and used the upper third of each package to point out it was compostable).

Last December, manufacturer Cereplast asked designers to submit their ideas for a logo that could appear on bioplastics to show that they are, in fact, bioplastics. The competition was inspired by the 1970 contest that found the now-ubiquitous three arrow recycling logo. Howard was among more than 1,500 artists to submit designs to the bioplastics contest. Her entry was chosen last week as the winner, and she’ll take home $25,000 for her work.

In a statement, Howard said she wanted her design to “convey the idea that something strong and structural like plastic could come from a plant source.” As the LA Times points out, the design also “looks a bit like the insignia found on Eva, the robot sent to look for plant life on a future, wasted version of Earth in the Pixar film Wall-E.”

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