Ecofriendly potato snow sweeps Hollywood
Biodegradable snow made from starch is helping Hollywood reduce its plastic pollution from winter film sets.
The new snow, processed from potato or corn, consists of starch flakes that dissolve in heavy rain, meaning the snow can be left to ‘melt’ rather than having to be scooped up and disposed of like conventional artificial snow made with white polyethylene chips. “With these types of artificial snow, some always ended up being blown around the set,” says Frithjof Bauman at the German Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology that invented the snow.
The starch flakes have other attractive properties including their stickiness, where a slight moistening makes the flakes more adhesive. The ICT also worked hard to develop flakes that behave like real snowflakes when falling to the ground. After recording the amount of time a snowflake took to settle, scientists calculated the dimensions and density necessary for the starch flakes to drift in a similar fashion.
Five metric tons of the new snow, which is non-flammable, recently starred in the film “Ice Planet”.
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