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PLA Plastic: Biomaterial For A Green World

business,PLA . 

In the fight against plastic pollution and towards a sustainable world, PLA (Polylactic Acid) plastic is increasingly popular, contributing to minimizing the impact of traditional plastics on the environment. In this article, EQUO will explore with you a comprehensive view of PLA plastic - an important source of biological materials in building a green world.


1. Overview of PLA plastic

PLA plastic is increasingly asserting its position in the fight against climate change and environmental protection. Manufactured from renewable raw materials, PLA is a perfect alternative to traditional plastics, contributing to building a sustainable future.


1.1. What is PLA plastic?

PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a type of bioplastic produced from renewable materials such as corn starch, cassava, sugarcane, etc. Thanks to its natural origin, PLA is completely biodegradable under cold conditions. under suitable conditions, produces CO2 and water, and does not harm the environment.


Source: Internet


1.2. Physical properties of PLA plastic

PLA plastic is a bioplastic with many physical properties suitable for many different applications:

  • Durability: PLA plastic has high mechanical strength, equivalent to traditional plastics such as PS and PP.
  • Toughness: PLA has good toughness, and is less susceptible to cracking when impacted.
  • Heat resistance: PLA has good heat resistance, and can be used at temperatures from 0°C to 60°C.
  • 3D printing ability: PLA is the most popular 3D printing material today due to its ease of use and safety for health.
  • Biodegradability: PLA is completely biodegradable under appropriate conditions, produces CO2 and water, and is not harmful to the environment.


Source: Internet


PLA bioplastic has many outstanding advantages compared to traditional plastics, is produced from renewable materials, is completely biodegradable, and contributes to environmental protection and combating climate change.


2. Advantages and disadvantages of PLA plastic

PLA plastic is increasingly widely used because of its advantages of being environmentally friendly and safe for health. However, besides the advantages, PLA plastic also has some disadvantages that need to be considered before use.


2.1. Advantages

PLA plastic is produced from renewable materials such as corn starch, cassava, sugarcane, potato starch, etc. Thanks to that, PLA possesses many outstanding advantages compared to traditional plastics:

  • Environmentally friendly: The production and use process of PLA does not emit toxic substances, contributing to protecting the living environment.
  • Safe for health: PLA plastic does not contain BPA and other toxic substances, safe for direct contact with food. Therefore, PLA is widely used for products such as cups, mugs, food containers, etc.
  • Biodegradability: PLA can spontaneously decompose into organic compounds under appropriate conditions, without polluting the environment. The decomposition process happens quickly, in just a few months or years, in contrast to the hundreds of years of traditional plastics.


2.2. Disadvantages

Besides the outstanding advantages, PLA biodegradable plastic still has some disadvantages to note:

  • PLA production depends heavily on raw material areas such as corn, cassava, sugarcane, or sugar beet fields. Therefore, manufacturing plants often have to be located near growing areas to optimize transportation costs.
  • If PLA plastic is mixed with traditional recycled materials, it will affect the quality of the recycled product.
  • Currently, there are only a few PLA factories in the world, leading to a situation of insufficient supply and demand. Furthermore, PLA production requires high technology and large investment costs, making the product price higher than traditional plastics (PA, PE, PP, etc.)


PLA plastic is a potential material with many applications in life. However, to effectively use this material, it is necessary to carefully consider its advantages and disadvantages. Research and development of innovative PLA plastics will contribute to expanding the application of this material in the future.


3. How is PLA plastic produced?

PLA plastic is produced from renewable materials such as corn starch, sugarcane, cassava, potatoes, etc. It begins with a fermentation process to convert the materials into simple sugars (glucose), then ferments the glucose into lactic acid. Lactic acid is purified and dehydrated to form lactide, which is heated and catalyzed to form PLA polymer. PLA is then added with additives to improve properties and form fibers, granules, sheets, etc. to be used for different purposes.

Note: The PLA production process may use different enzymes and chemicals depending on the manufacturer, and PLA may be blended with other plastics to improve properties or reduce costs.


Source: Internet


4. Applications of PLA plastic in life

PLA plastic is increasingly widely used in many different fields because of its outstanding advantages of environmental friendliness and biodegradability. Below are some typical applications of PLA plastic in life:


4.1. Production of food packaging

PLA plastic is used to produce many types of food packaging such as food trays, lunch boxes, cups, spoons, forks, shopping bags, etc. Thanks to its health safety and biodegradability. , PLA is a perfect alternative to traditional disposable plastic packaging, contributing to reducing plastic waste and protecting the environment.


Besides PLA plastic, today other naturally derived materials such as coffee grounds, sugarcane bagasse, rice, etc. are also used in the production of food packaging and eating utensils. EQUO is proud to offer a variety of environmentally friendly products, helping you easily replace disposable plastic products in your daily life.

  • Natural straw set that decomposes itself: Made from coffee, bagasse, coconut, grass, and rice, safe for health, and completely compostable in the natural environment.
  • Food containers: Made from sugarcane bagasse, which is a sustainable natural resource that is renewable and decomposes quickly. The outstanding characteristics of bagasse fiber lie in its durability, flexibility in packaging, and breathable and waterproof qualities.
  • Utensils: This is a great choice for eco-friendly and durable tableware sets.

Let's join hands with EQUO to use environmentally friendly products. For more information about EQUO product lines, please visit the following link:

>> https://shopequo.com/collections


4.2. Manufacture of medical equipment

It can be said that PLA is a new step forward in the medical industry used to produce several medical devices such as medical instrument trays, sewing needles, orthopedic braces, stents, etc. Thanks to its biosafety and biodegradability, PLA helps reduce and minimize the risk of cross-contamination and limit negative impacts on the environment.


Source: Internet


4.3. Manufacture of electronic product shells

In addition, PLA plastic is also used in the production of phone cases, computer cases, headphone cases, etc. With its toughness, good heat resistance, and biodegradability, this is the choice. A potential replacement for traditional plastics in the electronics industry.


4.4. Production of spare tires

PLA plastic is used to produce spare tires for cars. Thanks to its lightness, good load-bearing capacity, and biodegradability, PLA contributes to improving fuel efficiency and minimizing negative impacts on the environment. Although light, PLA tires still possess impressive load-bearing capacity, ensuring user safety in case of need.


Source: Internet


4.5. Production of biological mulch in agriculture

PLA coating helps speed up fruit ripening while protecting fruit from the harmful effects of UV rays, insects, and fungi. Thanks to this, farmers can harvest products earlier, improving productivity and crop quality.


Source: Internet


In addition to the above applications, PLA plastic is also used in many other fields such as manufacturing toys, household appliances, gifts, etc. Thanks to its outstanding advantages, PLA plastic is predicted to continue to be popular. applied more widely in the future, contributing to environmental protection and moving towards a green future.


5. Notes when using PLA plastic

With wide applications in many fields, PLA plastic promises to contribute positively to the sustainable development of society. However, when using this type of plastic, you also need to note the following points to ensure safety and effectiveness:


5.1. Temperature

PLA plastic should be stored in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. The ideal storage temperature is from 15 - 25°C. Avoid storing PLA plastic in places with temperatures that are too high or too low because it can reduce the quality of the plastic.


Source: Internet


5.2. Preserve

PLA plastic has high hygroscopicity. When exposed to moisture in the air, the plastic will soften and shrink, leading to clogging and cracking during the printing process. Therefore, it is necessary to store PLA plastic in a dry, cool place with low humidity.


Source: Internet


5.3. Recycling

PLA plastic needs to be recycled properly to optimize efficiency and protect the environment. The recycling process involves melting and reshaping the material. Using specialized recycling machines is necessary to ensure the quality of products after recycling. However, it should be noted that PLA plastic that is dirty or contaminated with impurities should not be recycled because it will affect the quality of the new product.


Source: Internet


EQUO's Compostable Solution: A Sustainable Alternative to Controversial PLA Plastic


PLA is a new kind of plastic innovation aiming to help the environment by using renewable resources instead of petrochemicals. However, it faces controversy due to eco-friendliness concerns, particularly its limited ability to decompose outside industrial composting facilities, which are scarce globally. Addressing these challenges, EQUO proudly introduces our compostable products proudly stand as the ultimate alternative to all plastic types. Crafted from plant-based materials, they are 100% free of plastic, and can break down completely in any conditions within a matter of months. Join EQUO in forging a path towards a greener and more sustainable future!


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