April 14th, 2010
strong>From Green Right Now Reports
Plant-based plastic has been finding more and more places in the marketplace, as cups, bottles and plates.
But while PLA, or Polylactic acid plastic, meets the environmental test at the front end, being made of eco-friendly and biodegradable ingredients, it has faced an end-of-life issue: It can’t be recycled with the bulk of petroleum-based plastics in the waste stream, the PETE and HDPE plastics that major recyclers collect and sell.
The PLA industry has been trying to solve that issue. It has looked at technology that would help recyclers separate PLA plastic from conventional plastics at processing plants.
Another solution is to recycle PLA plastic, melt it down, at its own special facilities. It’s already being done on a major scale in Europe. This week the industry announced that a new U.S. PLA recycling company, Plarco Inc., will become a major collector of post-consumer PLA waste, helping to close the recycling loop for PLA.