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Knoxville – The University of Tennessee has worked over the past two years to help develop biodegradable fast-food packaging.

The director of UT-s Center for Clean Products and Clean Technologies (CCPCT) said they-ve collaborated with the Green Seal nonprofit organization to develop and test the Earthshell packaging material, composed of limestone and potato starch reclaimed from French fries and potato chips.

“We looked at packaging for fast-food items, to determine what materials are being used and what environmental attributes those items had,” said Gary Davis. “In some cases they were good and in other cases they were bad, so we developed criteria for what would make an environmentally superior package.”

Davis said Earthshell was the first fast-food container to be awarded Green Seal-s endorsement for rigid foodservice packaging.

“We-ve been working with Greenseal since 1991, and act as their principal technical resource on developing standards for environmental labeling,” Davis said.