Milan designers Spalvieri / Del Ciotto have created a range of calculators, clocks, torches and radios that are made of corn starch.
The series for French brand Lexon uses biodegradable PLA plastic, which is made from the lactides produced by fermenting agricultural byproducts.
"In addition to being more environmentally friendly than a traditional plastic, we think PLA presents extraordinary visual and tactile qualities," say the designers. "For this reason we designed a family of very simple objects with basic technologies, where the importance is given to the material itself."
The PLA material can be processed using the same equipment and techniques as conventional plastics, although it has a different viscosity during moulding so the thickness of some parts was increased.
Biopolymers normally have a lower softening temperature than plastics derived from petroleum, making them unsuitable for many applications, but recent developments in PLA with a high thermal resistance mean it can be used for semi-durable goods like these.
Each product is powered by photovoltaic cells and rechargeable batteries, and features stripped-back white cases with bright green details.
Here's a bit of text from the designers:
In early 2011 we were invited by Lexon to design a new family of ecological items, using PLA as main material. From this premise was born Maizy, a collection of objects made of PLA (corn plastic), powered by photovoltaic cells and rechargeable batteries.
Maizy is environmentally friendly technology. The purity of the lines expresses its vocation, inviting to go beyond the form, to find out the matterial.
MAIZY FM radio/MP3 amplifier, rechargeable on USB
MAIZY Solar/battery desktop calculator
MAIZY Solar pocket calculator
MAIZY Solar/battery LCD alarm clock
MAIZY Solar/battery analogue alarm clock
MAIZY Pocket LED light, rechargeable on USB