Polylactic acid (PLA) is a plant-based plastic resin with applications in a wide range of nondurable and durable products from take-out food service items to textiles. PLA can be composted at industrial sites and is technically mechanically and chemically recyclable. One obstacle to PLA recovery is its current low volumes in recycling streams. This makes installation of dedicated PLA sorting equipment an economical challenge for many recyclers. How can we address this challenge?
This webinar, hosted by the Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative:
- Explored end-of-life options for PLA,
- Shared new studies on quantities of PLA found in recycled plastic bales,
- Highlighted the results of a California pilot to test PLA recycling methods at mixed recycling sorting facilities and large plastics recyclers,
- Toured the on-campus PLA recycling project at the University of Wisconsin,
- Reviewed the economics of recycling PLA,
- Discussed how to improve the identification and separation of all plastics, and
- Identified strategies for avoiding contamination of the PET recycled stream.
Watch recording on YouTube
Steve Davies, NatureWorks LLC
Mike Centers, BioCor LLC
Alain Descoins, Pellenc ST
Paul Fowler, Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology at UW-Steven’s Point