It has been ten years since the ban on free plastic bags was promulgated in China in 2007. This regulation has significantly reduced the use of plastic bags to some extent, but with the rapid development of express industry and food delivery in the recent years, the number of plastic bags is booming again.
While platic bags provide convenience to consumers, they can also cause serious environmental pollution because of excessive usage, inadequate recycling and other reasons. Therefore, the ban on free plastic bags cannot settle all these issues, and we should pay attention to some greener products.
PLA and some other high polymers are biodegradable and environmental friendly materials, and now they can be used to replace the traditional PE plastic packing bags.
PLA, also known as polylactic acid, is a new biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from starch of renewable resources, such as rice straw, wheat-straw and so on. The starch will turn into glucose by saccharification, and then the glucose and microbial strain can become high purity lactic acid by fermentation, and at last the polylactic acid can be made by chemical polymerization. Due to the good biodegradability, PLA is a green material which can be degraded by the microorganism and finally produce CO2 and water. Besides, it is also very safe to use and will not release toxic gases such as nitrides and sulfides when incinerated.
With the above advantages, PLA can be widely used in various fields, such as packaging (packing bag, packaging film, medical film, foamed plastics), textile, medical treatment, 3D Printing and other durable goods(electronic field, auto spare parts, etc).
Therefore, the polylactic acid can be an ideal substitute for the traditional PE plastic materials and can work together with the ban on free plastic bags to protect the environment.