The market for corn-based, biodegradable bioplastics could reach 50 billion pounds annually within five years, representing about 10% of the worldwide market for plastics. While more costly than conventional plastics, "this is one of the greatest hidden sources of replacing petroleum that we've got," says the CEO of an organic dairy that uses the product in milk and water bottles. However, others say it's an open question whether biodegradable plastic is more energy efficient to use than recycling petroleum-based plastic.

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