FormCard: Remeltable Bioplastic
London-based designer Peter Marigold has developed a pocket-sized, meltable bioplastic that can be used and reused to hack everyday products. Made from starch-based bioplastic, FormCard is a sustainable alternative to typical low-temperature thermoplastics, offering completely non-toxic properties with natural powder pigments.
The user simply places the card in a cup of hot water to soften the material, and then moulds it into place around tools or objects. When cool, the bioplastic is as strong as nylon, yet can also be remelted for further use. Much like Sugru, FormCard’s mouldable material taps into the hacking trend, offering consumers infinite possibilities for customising and mending existing products and creating new ones – a spirit we also recognised in our Design Democracy Industry Trend, Outsider.
Bioplastics are typically supplied in granulated form, restricting their immediate use, and are often messy and wasteful during manufacture. However, FormCard’s flat, card-like shape means it can be kept in your pocket or wallet, making it ideal for on-the-go commercial usage and instant fixes for everyday problems. It is currently drumming up support on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
Bioplastics are becoming increasingly popular as sustainable alternatives to the throwaway culture of conventional, non-disposable plastic. We’ve been tracking the far-reaching potential of natural-based plastic composites since our first Biomaterials report in 2013. For fresh alternative approaches to plastics, see the Materials Focus 2015-16 report Repurpose and Revaluing Plastic.