Corn Commentary

Milking Cows and Growing Bottles

Biodegradeable bottles made from corn are greening up the U.S. House of Representatives.

As part of the Green Capital Initiative, “Green Bottle Spring Water” from a company called Naturally Iowa will now be the only bottled water available in the US House Cafeteria. The bottles are made out of polylactic acid (PLA), a biodegradeable plastic made from corn. The bottles can be composted, incinerated, or ground up and used again. The Cafeteria has access to a well-developed industrial compost system developed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The composting material is sent daily to the facility in nearby Maryland to go from trash to topsoil in less than ninety days.

The slogan for Naturally Iowa is “We Milk the Cows and Grow the Bottles.” Co-founders William Horner and Steve Williams both grew up on farms in Southwest Iowa, and later returned to farming after completing their education. In 2002, the two partnered to provide an opportunity for family operated dairy farms to make a comeback by adding value to their product and became the world’s first dairy to use PLA bottling.

The company produces milk, ice cream and drinkable yogurt in PLA packaging and moved into the bottled water business by partnering with a natural spring water company out of Virginia.