What is PLA?

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How do we become more environmental friendly? Is it possible to reduce our impact on the environment? Are there any alternatives to existing practices? Let’s continue our journey and discover the meaning of PLA, were and how it’s utilized.

As an alternative to petroleum based plastic, PLA or Polyactic Acid, has been increasingly used due to superior transparency, mechanical strength and easy processability when compared to other biodegradable polymers (Fortunati, Armentano, Zhou, Iannoni, Satino, and Visai 2012).

PLA or Polyactic Acid, is a biodegradable plastic derived particularly from corn and starch (Bonnyawan, Sarapirom, Tunma, Chaiwong, Rachtanapun, Auras, 2011) and is most often used for short term applications such as disposable cutlery (plates, cups, lids and straws), bags and film packages (Auras, Singh 2005).


Below please find the illustrated PLA lifecycle.


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PLA or Polyactic Acid is biodegradable under severe degradation conditions presented by composting sites (Fortunati, Armentano, Iannoni, Barbale, Zaccheo, Scavone, 2012). Click here to find out information about regional and state composting programs in US.

Work Cited:

Fortunati E., Armentano I., Zhou Q., Iannoni A., Saino E., Visai I., et al. Multifunctional bionanocomposite films of poly(lactic acid) cellulose nanocrystals and silver nanoparticles. Carbohydr Polym 2012; 87 (2) 1596-605.

Fortunati E., Armentano I., Iannoni A., Barbale M., Zaccheo S., Scavone M., et. al. New multifunctional poly (lactide acid) composites: mechanical, antibacterial, and degradation properties. J Appl Polym Sci 2012: 124 (1):87-98.

Auras RA, Singh SP., Singh JJ. Evaluation of oriented poly (lactide) polymers vs. existing PET and oriented PS for fresh food service containers. Pack Technol Sci 2005; 18 (4): 207-16.

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