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Applications of PLA as Bioplastic

 

Applications

Plastic materials can be made from PLA and formed into grocery bags, pens, television cabinets and toys. So far, researchers haven’t found anything made from conventional plastic resins that can’t be made from PLA.

PLA and PGA are having mainly medical applications, as sutures, as ligament replacements, for resorbable plates and screws in fracture fixation (i.e. in orthopedic repairs), for controlled drug release, for arterial grafts.  The Biolac plastic has commercial applications for compost bags, coatings for paper, seeds, pesticides, fertilizers and agricultural mulch films for timed release of pesticides and fertilizers. Applications of polylactic acid as plastic can be – disposable fast food, dairy and delivery containers, food service ware, medical garments, waste bags.

Specifically, Mazin is composed of PLA (similar to those used in surgical sutures) and an additive polymer created from starch and other degradable monomers. Both comply with the positive list in the “ECC Commission Directive of 23 February 1990 relating to the Plastic Materials and Articles intended to come in Contact with Foodstuffs” – 90/128/EEC, published in the official Journal of the European Communities of 21 March 1990. More specifically, the base polymer contains substances included in Annex 2 – Section A therein, or by their mixture, or by substances deriving from monomers included in Annex 2 – Section A, and by a component included in Annex 2 – Section B.

Market

Potential market for PLA plastics and coatings as forecasted by Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois:

Application Demand
Controlled fertilizer and pesticide application >  500 000 tonnes
Marine plastic applications 250 000 tonnes
Degradable conditioner coatings for paperback stock >  100 000 tonnes
Compost waste bags, sacs etc. Tens of thousands of tones
Agricultural mulch film 75 000 tonnes

Areas of Applications of PLA as Bioplastic

Category Items
   
1 Packaging materials Food trays, lunch boxes, packaging for instant foods, others.
2 Biomedical technology Sutures, drug delivery systems, screws
3 Agricultural materials Mulch films, seedling pots for transplanting, vegetation nets, others.
4 Cosmetics: (monomer) Moisturizer, Skin rejuvenating, pH control, Ant microbial
5 Sanitary products Diapers, sanitary packages, others
6 Everyday items Trash bags, plastic bags for shopping, drainer nets, others

Typical Applications of PLA

Form of PLA Applications
1 Non-woven Fibers Personal Hygiene, Protective clothing, Filtration
2 Oriented Films Container labels, Tape
3 Extrusion Coatings Dinnerware, Food packaging, Mulch Film
4 Flexible Film Food wrap, Trash bags, shrink wrap
5 Cast Sheet Deli trays
6 Enjection Moulding Rigid containers, Dairy containers
7 Foam Clam shells, Meat trays

 

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