Diet Coke with a Straw. With LOTS of Ice. My drank of choice. Let’s say 25-ish straws a month times 12 months times 15 or so years…..That, my friends, is a LOT of straws. I ran across these at Whole Foods recently.


They caught my eye because the box says “Made From Corn”. I know that the corn product they speak of is made right here in Blair, Nebraska! Natureworks

What began in 1989 as a Cargill research project looking for innovative uses of carbohydrates from plants as feedstock for more sustainable plastics has quickly matured into the innovative materials for which we are known today.  NatureWorks LLC is an independent company invested in by Cargill and PTT Global Chemical who recently announced a $150 million investment in NatureWorks. Our company is the first to offer a family of commercially available biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with cost and performance that compete with petroleum-based packaging materials and fibers. We apply our unique technology to the processing of natural plant sugars to create the proprietary polylactide polymer marketed under the Ingeo™ brand name.

NatureWorks LLC represents one of the largest efforts ever in green chemistry and biorefinery.

Our manufacturing facility, located in Blair, Nebraska, USA, has a name plate capacity of 300 million pounds (140,000 metric tons) of Ingeo biopolymer. Our plant came online in 2002.  In 2003, we built the world’s largest lactic acid manufacturing facility to feed our polymer plant. Then in 2009 we opened a state-of-the-art applications lab.


I try to notice and buy Ingeo based products. The Natureworks plant here in Blair on the Cargill campus just makes the polymer beads. They are shipped out to manufacturers like WorldCentric and THEY make the product.

I have been surprised that neither Blair nor the surrounding areas produce anything FROM the Ingeo corn-based plastic! I guess we’re too busy making the corn!