PLA is the most common biodegradable plastic raw material. PLA is polymerized by lactic acid produced by starch fermentation. Compared with other degradable materials, the production technology of PLA is mature and the cost is low. In some industries and places, PLA is also promoted as a substitute for disposable plastics.
But is PLA biodegradable unconditionally? The answer is no.
The biodegradability of PLA is not unconditional, nor is it completely free from environmental hazards. PLA biodegradation needs to meet two basic conditions: 50% - 60% humidity and 50 - 70 ℃ temperature. Under these conditions, it is possible for microorganisms to decompose PLA gradually for months or even longer. From another point of view, PLA can not be degraded without the required condition of temperature and humidity.
In a report published by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2015, the environmental hazards of degradable plastics were mentioned, including PLA.
The report gives a clear description of the prerequisites for the biodegradability of plastics, i.e. the need for industrial composting facilities and specific temperatures.
Simply put, biodegradable plastic bags need to be completely degraded to carbon dioxide and water at a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. However, it is difficult for the natural environment to reach the necessary temperature for degradation. If PLA plastic bags are randomly discarded, they can not be truly degraded in nature.
OKCHEM PLA, PBAT and PBS Distribution Project
OKCHEM is the strategic partner of Anhui BBCA (the largest PLA producer in China) and Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe (the largest PBAT producer in China) to look for buyers and partners globally. If you want to join us in this project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also make the application online at: https://www.okchem.com/agent/detail/degradableplastics/oem
1. About our distribution project and our partners
OKCHEM Chemicals Distribution Product List and FAQ
PLA, PBAT and PBS included in OKCHEM Distribution Project
FAQs for biodegradable plastic materials
Our Partner Xinjiang Blue Ridge Tunhe is leading globally in the production of degradable materials
Our Partner Anhui BBCA Kicked off the 2nd Phase Production for its 300 kt/a PLA Project
2. About product background introductions
Bioplastics, Biodegradation and Bio-based plastics
Comparison of biodegradable materials PLA, PBAT, PHA and PBS
Is PLA biodegradable unconditionally?
Biodegradable plastics — Polylactic acid (PLA)
What’s the Difference: Biodegradable and Compostable?
Harmonised standards for bioplastics products in EU
Certificates: reliable proof of biodegradability by independent institutes
3. About market analysis and new development
Anhui Ruihong New Material Kicked off the construction of project with 25 kt/a of PVA, PLA, PBAT and PBS
China’s Kanghui Petrochemical kicked off its production of 33 kt/a PBAT/PBS on December 25
New development in PLA: Durable new PLA cup can hold boiling liquids around 140 °F (60 °C)
ECP recently introduced as promising biobased compatibilizing agent for PLA/PBAT blends
Brief Highlights of PBAT and Its production in China
The state of the bioplastics market updated by European Bioplastics (EUBP)
Biodegradable product tradeshows: 2021 China International Biodegradation & Plastic Products Exhibition
Analysis of Chinese export on PBAT and PBS from 201901 to 202011
Production capacity of PLA in China expected to reach 3.3 million tons in the coming 5 years