The truth about a sustainable environment
We can’t stop the world from moving but we can make it smarter, stronger and more sustainable by providing the most eco-friendly solution to our customers. We create premium products, ensuring we are offering you the most sustainable option without compromising on the product’s quality. This may not be easy or straightforward, but we are doing the hard work for you, as we want you to be confident when purchasing our products.
What is a biodegradable material?
It is the material where under the right conditions, the microbes in the environment can break down the material and use it as a food source.
Biodegradation is a process that can take place in many environments including soils, compost sites, water treatment facilities, in marine environments and even in the human body. This is the process that converts carbon into energy and maintains life.
Not all materials biodegrade under all conditions. Some are susceptible to the microbes found in a wastewater treatment plant, while others need the conditions and microbes found in a compost pile or in the soils.
There’s a common misconception that a material based on a renewable resource must be biodegradable or compostable. In fact, some natural materials do not biodegrade. On the contrary, some materials based on petroleum or synthetically based plastic resins will biodegrade and compost just like paper and yard trimmings.
What is PLA?
Polylactic Acid, most commonly known as PLA, is a polymer made from renewable resources. Some of the raw materials used for PLA’s production include corn starch, tapioca roots, or sugarcane. PLA’s properties are comparable to conventional plastic in the industry. The desire to use less impactful to the environment material such as PLA has triggered its rapid entrance to the eco-friendly market as a competitive commodity.
How is It Made?
PLA is a polyester produced by fermentation under controlled conditions of a carbohydrate source like corn starch or sugarcane. Its building blocks can either be lactic acid or lactide monomers. They will later be polymerised into PLA. Initially, corn goes through wet milling. Here’s were the starch gets separated. The starch is then mixed with acid or enzymes and heated. This process “breaks” starch into dextrose (D-glucose), or corn sugar. Finally, fermentation of glucose produces L-Lactic acid, which will be the basic constituent of PLA.
Two methods for manufacturing PLA plastic from lactic acid are applied. The first one uses lactide as an intermediate state, which results in greater molecular weight. The second method consists in the direct polymerisation of lactic acid.