Polylactic Acid Plastics

13 June 2022 by Andy Ko
In 2021, polylactic acid (PLA) was the most widely produced bio-based bioplastic polymer in the world, with almost 460,000 tonnes produced worldwide, representing 18.9% of all bioplastics. PLA is a polyester of lactide monomers, which are derived from the fermentation of biological feedstocks. These can include food agriculture feedstocks like corn, beet, and sugarcane, as well as non-food feedstocks like woody biomass and organic waste feedstocks. PLAs are 100% bio-based and fully biodegradable, although degradation requires industrial composting. In this article, IDTechEx discusses how PLA is manufactured, the fermentation considerations for lactic acid, end-of-life options, applications, players, and opportunities.
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