The Story About The PLA
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The Story About The PLA

Views:2     Author:Anonymity     Publish Time: 2019-03-29      Origin:Network

The 2008 oil-based beverages have been remembered by the madness and plunging of PET raw material prices. In fact, everyone acknowledges that oil will one day be exhausted.

No one knows when the next oil price volatility is, and no one knows when the economy will go out of the trough, but as long as people continue to use petroleum products, oil prices will rise sooner or later.

But beverage manufacturers are reluctant to wait until that day, they are already looking for bottles based on plant materials. For most manufacturers, cost is not the only factor driving them to improve packaging, and changes in the consumer market are also an important factor.


For example, PrimoWater Corporation of the United States has selected a bottle made of polylactic acid (PLA) extracted from natural plants, which is very suitable for water. “Consumers have already accepted this product, and the sales of this product are growing in certain markets,” explains ScottSteele, vice president of PlasticTechnologies, which helped the company develop a PLA bottle.

“The bottle made of local plant fiber to fill the local water only needs short-distance transportation. We have also overcome the technical problems and finally realized a good solution like PLA. Now, we only need Look at the market reaction."

Primo is a member of the PLA Application Club and there are currently very few PLA bottle manufacturers in the beverage industry. Despite the many advantages of PLA, the company that first used the PLA bottle restored its old packaging in 2004.

According to Harald Kaeb, president of the European Society for Degradable Plastics, plant fiber-based plastics account for 1% of the total plastic use. “We can now produce 300,000 tons of degradable plastics, and the total output of plastics is 230-240 million tons.”

But Kaeb and others believe that the prospect of degrading plastics is optimistic. First, as mentioned earlier, PLA and other degradable plastics are more stable than PET and other plastics produced from petroleum. In fact, as the production of plant fiber plastics continues to expand, prices will gradually decrease; secondly, the plastics of plant fibers are also characterized by sustainable development. When processing PET from limited petroleum, PLA comes from renewable corn or other starchy plants. “PLA materials are packaged from renewable resources that are used to reduce fuel consumption and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, making it an environmentally friendly material,” Kaeb said.

PLA is compostable and decomposes less land than PET waste. Kaeb also said that the ultimate goal is to use plant fibers to make the entire bottle, including labels and even caps.

But there are still some difficulties in front of me. First, there is a need to establish a recycling system for the recovery of PLA to compost; second, PLA does not provide high barrier properties, especially for moisture, oxygen and carbon dioxide, which have a significant impact on the quality of carbonated beverages.

Despite this, more and more beverage manufacturers have chosen bottles made of plant fibers. Glasbrenner estimates that in the past year, the use of PLA beverage bottles has increased by about 75%.

North American milk maker Naturally Iowa also uses PLA bottles to fill fresh milk and yogurt. In addition, another juice brand “NobleJuice” has joined the ranks of using PLA bottles. In other places, such as Italy, New Zealand, and Australia, beverage manufacturers have adopted this type of packaging.

Kaeb also said that there are still bottlenecks in the production of PLA, only one major producer, but this situation will soon change. “In two or three years, this situation will change, there will be more suppliers entering the PLA market, and there will be more users.”

Steele added, “Today, biodegradable materials are more expensive. But it is foreseeable that after 5 to 10 years, the price of biodegradable materials must be cheaper than those of petroleum resins extracted from petroleum because of oil. The price is definitely more and more expensive. It is conceivable that the PLA beverage bottle will enter thousands of households sooner or later."


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