PLA is a biodegradable alternative to conventional plastic and polystyrene packaging for food. PLA, also known as polylactic acid is obtained from natural raw materials such as sugarcane or corn.
PLA is made from corn starch and other basic sugars and is produced in a similar way to regular plastics. However, the cost of producing PLA is now cheaper than the cost of making plastics, making it an economical replacement.
PLA packaging is biodegradable and in certain cases can biodegrade in 30 to 90 days once exposed to certain composting environments, making it 100% environmentally friendly.
PLA releases non-toxic vapours making it perfect for packaging cold takeaway meals and drinks. The transparent containers are ideal for showcasing foods in an attractive manner. It is not suitable for the packaging of hot foods or beverages as PLA is unable to tolerate temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, likewise, it is not microwave friendly either. However, when used in the right application PLA has various superb qualities such as high strength, low toxicity, biodegradability, and overall, an eco-friendly alternative to regular plastic packaging.