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Biodegradable PLA Products

Polylactic acid or Polylactide (PLA) is a biodegradable, thermoplastic, aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch or sugarcanes. Although PLA has been known for more than a century, it has only been of commercial interest in recent years, in light of its biodegradability.

In recent years, PLA has been used to line the inside of paper cups in place of the oil based lining more commonly used. Also, it has now been largely used in producing plastic cups, cutlery, carrier bags, food packaging and even nappies.

However, PLA is also more expensive than many petroleum-derived commodity plastics and can create problems in recycling streams by contaminating the oil based plastics. And now, ordinary oil based plastic and recycled plastic can be made into biodegradable.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics (OBP) are conventional plastics that include polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene to which is added a proprietary mixture that accelerates the breakdown of the chemical structure of the plastic.

These plastics are the main ones used in a variety of catering disposable packaging applications. The resultant breakdown products are then amenable to conversion by micro-organisms, for which these products are an energy source or food, into carbon dioxide and water, thereby returning otherwise intractable plastics to the ecosystem.

These plastics can now have a shelf life, determined at the point of manufacture. Shopping carrier bags, food wraps, plastic glasses and so on will all completely and harmlessly biodegrade with determined shelf life. However, utilizing this new technology does not mean the products cannot be recycled. Some commercial products that have already incorporated this new technology include carrier bags, garbage bags, cling film, shrink-wraps and EPS trays.

Recently, biodegradable plates can be made from 3 different types of bioplastics, which are very popular in catering and extremely environmentally friendly. See as follow, and you will learn the details about these three types of bioplastics.

Starch based plastic: This type actually constitutes to roughly 50% of the bioplastics market, it is currently the most widely used. The starch gives it the characteristics to absorb humidity which makes it possible to be used as a casing for pharmaceutical drugs. For plates, it can handle a range of temperatures without compromising its strength.

Polylactide acid plastics: This is also known as (PLA) and is made form natural resources with a transparent effect. It can be easily processed on standard equipment that is used in the production of traditional plastics. This is commonly used for plates and cups.

Poly-3-hydroxybutyrate: Also known as (PHB), it is a polyester that is manufactured from raw renewable materials.A lot of companies are now trying to expand their production capabilities for this type of bioplastic. For more information and more helpful articles visit .


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