Is PLA actually biodegradable

With the continuous improvement of people’s environmental awareness, degradable plastics are gradually coming to people’s vision. It can be seen that vigorously developing renewable and environmentally friendly biodegradable polymer materials has become an inevitable trend of development. In particular, it is a renewable biological resource based on the production of crop raw materials such as starch and straw. Due to the good biodegradability of biomass materials and the abundant and easy availability of raw materials, it has been developed rapidly.


Compared with traditional polymer materials, biomass-based polymer materials not only reduce the consumption of petrochemical resources, but also consume carbon dioxide and water during photosynthesis in the production process, reducing the release of carbon dioxide. At the same time, biomass-based polymer materials have environmentally friendly compostability due to their excellent biodegradability. Among many biomass-based polymer materials, polylactic acid (PLA) is widely used in daily food packaging and 3D printing because of its plant origin and good biodegradability, biocompatibility and high strength. Now follow me to focus on PLA this polymer product.

What is PLA?

Polylactic acid (PLA) is a new kind of biodegradable material. The raw material of PLA is made from the lactic acid polycondensation obtained from the fermentation of carbohydrates such as starch or potato, sucrose and corn, so it has good biodegradability. PLA can be decomposed by microorganisms in nature, it takes about 60 days to degrade, and eventually generate water and carbon dioxide, compared with traditional petroleum-based products, will not pollute the environment, in line with the law of modern social development, follow the principle of sustainable development, is recognized as an environmentally friendly material. According to statistics, the current use of PLA accounts for 45.1% of biodegradable plastics, which is a well-deserved main force in biodegradable materials.


What are the characteristics of PLA?

1. Environmentally friendly: PLA can degrade rapidly under specific conditions, reduce environmental pollution, and achieve dual ecological and economic effects.

2. Excellent performance: PLA has sufficient mechanical strength and heat resistance, suitable for daily use. Can be used for daily lunch box, packaging, absorption and other products.

3. Economically feasible: With abundant raw materials and low cost, PLA has a high cost-benefit ratio and can compete in the market. Especially in line with the current trend of social development.

Is polylactic acid safe for humans?

The raw material of polylactic acid comes from rich and renewable plant resources, non-toxic, tasteless, does not contain harmful chemicals, will not release harmful substances in the process of use, and protect the diet of consumers. Widely recognized as a food contact safety material. Its high transparency and excellent texture can meet consumers’ needs for the beauty and quality of tableware. PLA tableware is not only suitable for the catering service industry, take-out industry, large-scale events and other disposable tableware demand strong occasions, but also gradually infiltrated into the family, school, enterprises and institutions canteen and other daily dining scenes.

Compared to the production process of traditional petroleum-based plastics, the production of PLA uses less energy, and during the growth stage, the feedstock crop absorbs atmospheric carbon dioxide, making the carbon footprint throughout the life cycle significantly lower than that of traditional plastics. This is in line with global efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Application of PLA polylactic acid in degradable lunch boxes

In the 21st century, “environmental protection” has become the world’s vocabulary, under the guidance and constraints of the plastic ban policy, the use of environmentally friendly disposable tableware will be the choice for the development of the catering industry. The material replacement and product upgrade of disposable straws is only a microcosm of the future changes in the catering industry, and has guiding significance for the use of disposable plastic tableware since then.

Because polylactic acid has a heat resistance of 100 ° C, the material is safe and healthy, can be directly in contact with food, used for hot and cold drinks, based on market demand, PLA is widely used in straws, takeout lunch boxes, water cups, bowls, lunch boxes, children’s tableware and other kitchen supplies, can also be used in tea bags, halogen bags.


What is polylactic acid used for?

1.Polylactic acid can be used to process a variety of plastic products from industry to civil, packaged food, fast food lunch boxes, non-woven fabrics, industrial and civil fabrics;

2. Polylactic acid is also widely used in the field of medicine, such as the production of disposable infusion equipment, non-disassembly type surgical sutures, etc., low molecular polylactic acid as a drug slow-release packaging agent;

3. Polylactic acid can also be processed into agricultural film, to make up for the traditional film fragile and non-degradable defects;

4. Polylactic acid can also be processed into parts engineering materials for the automotive industry, ropes for construction, slow-release materials for pesticides and fertilizers.

Polylactic acid products have the same experience as traditional plastic products, and both biodegradable environmental protection characteristics, in line with the requirements of the plastic restriction order, but also to meet the needs of consumers. In the future, PLA plastic products will be more widely used in the tableware industry. Unilong looks forward to cooperating with the majority of catering industry users to provide more quality products for the market and users!

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Unilong®️ Group specializes in the research, development, production and operation of biological materials and green solvents. It is a high-tech enterprise integrating the research, development and production of new environmentally friendly and degradable materials.

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