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  • Development status of degradable PLA plastic bottles
Development status of degradable PLA plastic bottles
Source: | Author:xinxinghuanbao | Published time: 2018-05-24 | 2010 Views | Share:

NatureWorks doubled PLA production capacity
The 2008 spike and collapse in the price of petroleum-based beverages and PET ingredients is still fresh in everyone's mind. In fact, everyone agrees that oil will run out one day.
Now no one know when is the next time the oil price fluctuations, and no one know when the economy bottomed out, but as long as people continue to use petroleum products, oil prices will rise sooner or later.
But beverage makers are reluctant to wait until that day, and are already looking for plant-based packaging bottles. For most manufacturers, cost is not the only factor pushing them to improve their packaging. Changes in the consumer market are also an important factor.
For example, PrimoWater of the United States has chosen a packaged bottle made of polylactic acid (PLA), which is made from natural plants and is ideal for water. "Consumers have accepted this kind of products, and sales of this product is in certain markets continues to grow," explains ScottSteele PlasticTechnologies company vice President, is this company help Primo PLA bottles are developed.
"Packaging bottles made from local plant fibers to fill the local water requires only short transportation. We have also overcome the technical difficulties and finally realized such a good solution as PLA. Now, we just need to see the market reaction.
Primo is a member of the PLA application club and currently USES very few PLA bottle manufacturers in the beverage industry. Despite the PLA's many advantages, the company that first used the PLA bottle restored its old packaging in 2004.
Mr HaraldKaeb, President of the European society for biodegradable plastics, estimates that plant-based plastics account for 1% of total plastic use. "We can now produce 300,000 tons of degradable plastics, and the total production of plastics is 2.3 to 2.4 million tons."
But Kaeb and others are confident that the prospect of degrading plastics is optimistic. First, as mentioned earlier, the PLA and other degradable plastics are more stable in price than petroleum-produced PET and other plastics. In fact, as the production of plant fiber plastics increases, the price will gradually decrease. Secondly, the plastic of plant fiber also has the character of sustainable development. When PET is processed from limited petroleum, the PLA comes from renewable corn or other starch plants. "The PLA material packaging comes from renewable resources and its use can reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, which is an environmental material," Kaeb said.
The PLA is compost degradable and occupies less land than PET waste landfill. Kaeb says the ultimate goal is to use plant fibers to make whole packaging bottles, including labels and even bottle caps.
But there are difficulties ahead. First, a recovery system needs to be established so that the recovered PLA can compost. Second, the PLA has not yet been able to provide a high barrier, particularly for water, oxygen and carbon dioxide, which have a significant impact on the quality of carbonated beverages.
Still, more and more beverage companies are choosing packaged bottles made from plant fiber. Glasbrenner estimates that the use of PLA beverage bottles has increased by about 75 per cent in the past year.
NaturallyIowa, a north American milk producer, also USES the PLA bottle for fresh milk and yoghurt. In addition, another juice brand, NobleJuice, has joined the PLA bottle. In other places, such as Italy, New Zealand and Australia, beverage manufacturers have adopted the packaging.
Kaeb also talked about the PLA's current production bottleneck, with only one major manufacturer, but that will change soon. "This will change in two to three years, with more suppliers entering the PLA market and more users."
Today, biodegradable materials are more expensive. But it is predictable that, after five to 10 years, biodegradable materials will be cheaper than petroleum-derived polymer resins because oil will be more expensive. It is conceivable that sooner or later, the PLA beverage bottle will have to enter thousands of households.
About polylactic acid (PLA)
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a polymer synthesized by artificial chemistry from lactic acid produced by biological fermentation, but it still has good biocompatibility and biodegradability. Polylactic acid (PLA) are similar to those of polyester and permeability, both are similar to those of polystyrene and glossiness, clarity, and processability, and provides more than polyolefin can a thermal resistance, low temperature can use melt processing technology, including spinning technology for processing. Polylactic acid (PLA) can be processed into various packaging materials, such as plastic profiles and films for agriculture and construction, as well as non-woven fabrics and polyester fibers for chemical and textile industries. Polylactic acid (PLA) consumes only 20 to 50 per cent of the energy of conventional petrochemical products and produces only 50 per cent of the carbon dioxide gas.
In addition to being used as packaging materials, polylactic acid (PLA) can also be one of the research hotspots in pharmaceutical packaging materials and tissue engineering materials. Polylactic acid (PLA) can be used as a nontoxic tissue engineering scaffold for cell attachment growth.