With the promulgation and implementation of the national ban on plastic production, we will see the words polylactic acid or PLA in many news media. Is PLA the same as PE and PVC, and what are the differences in composition? Okay, next, everyone, please bring your notebooks and let’s learn about this magical new material that will disappear on its own!
Background of the emergence of polylactic acid PLA
With the vigorous development of the petroleum industry, the plastic industry has made significant progress. We come into contact with many disposable plastic products in our daily lives, such as disposable shopping bags, disposable gloves, disposable straws, disposable films, and so on.
These products are convenient to use, but there is a significant pollution issue. Because these PE and PVC products, when used for 5 minutes in nature, can degrade for 500 years or even fail to degrade, causing huge pollution to the environment and seriously affecting our living environment.
So all countries began their journey of banning plastic sculpture. Subsequently, a ban was issued on the production and use of certain plastic products nationwide.
So, fully biodegradable plastic, polylactic acid PLA, stepped onto the stage! Starting to emit a dazzling light!
Polylactic acid, abbreviated as PLA (polylactic acid). PLA is a new type of fully biodegradable material made from renewable plant resources, such as extracting starch raw materials from corn. Polylactic acid has good biodegradability and can be completely degraded by microorganisms in nature after use, ultimately generating carbon dioxide and water without polluting the environment.
On the contrary, the treatment method for PE and PVC plastics is still incineration and cremation, which can cause a large amount of greenhouse gases to be discharged into the air and cause serious air pollution. However, polylactic acid is buried in the soil for degradation, and the generated carbon dioxide directly enters the soil organic matter layer or is absorbed by plants, without being discharged into the air and causing a greenhouse effect.
Having said so much about the benefits of polylactic acid PLA, what can it be used for?
Disposable products industry
The harmless properties of polylactic acid make it unique in the field of disposable tableware, food packaging materials, and other disposable products. It can be completely degraded and meets the high environmental requirements of countries around the world, especially the European Union, the United States, and Japan.
According to the latest report, the problem of high temperature resistance in polylactic acid PLA has been effectively overcome by modifying it. Some even can withstand temperatures above 120 ℃ and can be used as microwave tool materials.
The biopharmaceutical industry
The biopharmaceutical industry was the earliest field in which polylactic acid was applied.
Polylactic acid has high safety for the human body and can be absorbed by tissues. In addition to its excellent physical and mechanical properties, it can also be applied in the field of biomedicine, such as disposable infusion tools, detachable surgical sutures, drug relief packaging agents, artificial fracture internal fixation materials, etc. Its high technological added value makes it a promising polymer material for the development of the medical industry.
What are the advantages of PLA
The main advantages are: easy availability of raw materials, renewable, suitable for large-scale production; Good breathability, transparency, luster, hardness, and tensile and bending modulus are comparable to traditional plastics; Good biocompatibility, non-toxic to the human body, non repellent, and can be absorbed by the human body. It can be made into medical tissue skeleton materials and medical carriers for safe use in the human body. PLA produced by Unilong has obtained FDA certification; It can be completely degraded, buried in the soil, and can be degraded into carbon dioxide and water within 6 to 12 months.
Due to the excellent performance of polylactic acid PLA, we believe it will have greater applications and make significant contributions to environmental protection. For our own living environment, please choose products with degradation marks!
Compared with traditional petrochemical products, the energy consumption in the production process of polylactic acid is only 20% to 50% of that of petrochemical products, and the carbon dioxide generated is only 50% of that of petrochemical products. Therefore, it is necessary to develop biodegradable materials of polylactic acid to alleviate global environmental and energy issues.