I have read several times that certain packaging materials may be made with corn. I searched: “corn used in packaging materials” and came up with a website: http://www.ncga.com/ which is the National Corn Growers Association. The page I went to right off was: http://lepton.marz.com/ncga/comm_dev_center/product_detail.asp?product=Packaging+materials#top This page gives a long list of items which are being produced as “green” materials for the environment.
My most recent bit of information I stumbled upon was that cornstarch may be used in waxed paper. Cornstarch is used to keep things seperated, but why in the world would you need to keep a waxed item seperated? Isn’t that what the wax is for? This is what made me decide to research packaging materials.
Many of the biodegradable packaging foams are made of cornstarch now. Beware of the cups, plates, plasticware, individual wrap which is on a sandwich or other food item, the foam under any individually wrapped item, the hinged type container for individual servings (especially if you can microwave it), the wrapper on that individual piece of candy may be suspect too. It is my bet that many school cafeteria items will be using these items because they are very cost effective and save the environment.
Many bags are biodegradable because they are made with corn, so if you have a corn allergy the cloth grocery bags may be a good thing to buy.
Paper bags may be a good option, but I am concerned about the “dextrin adhesives for the paper converting industry” and will have to investigate this a bit more. You can reuse paper bags numerous times and they are biodegradable. After they are spent you can use them in your garden under mulch to stop weeds and they will attract beneficial worms to the area.