A team of scientists and an agricultural engineer at the University of Missouri-Columbia are studying what they hope is the trash bag of the future - a biodegradable product that will deterioriate after disposal.

To make the bags, manufacturers blend corn starch with traditional synthetic polymers."The processes are there. We just have to improve the economics by the most efficient processes," says Gene Iannotti, associate professor of agricultural engineering.

Iannotti and an interdisciplinary team of 12 scientists are studying the bags, which are currently marketed by about a dozen companies in the United States and Canada.